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Committee of Publication. 


jflassarfmsetts Historical g>octet£ 

Founded 1791 


October, 1915 — June, 1916 

, ': Volume XLIX 

$tabligf)eb at tfte Cfjarge of tfje SSHaterfiStoti Jfuno^ 




^Entberstts press: 
John Wilson and Son, Cambridge. 





Annual Meeting 

Report of the Council 291 

Treasurer 295 

Librarian 305 

Cabinet-Keeper 305 

on Library and Cabinet 305 

Officers 309 

Badger, Joseph 

Note by Mr. Bayley . 259 

Bayley, Frank W. 

Note on Joseph Badger 259 

Bigelow, Melville Madison 

The Old Jury 310 

Bonaparte, Elizabeth 

Letter to William Patterson, 1815 18 

Bowditch, Charles Pickering 

Tribute to Frederic W. Putnam 4 

Brooks, Phillips 

Memoir by George Hodges 170 

Browne, William M. 

Letter on William Henry Hurlbut, 1861 21 

Carr, Lucien 

Memoir by Mr. Thayer 91 

Case of Church Discipline in the Berkshires 96 

Chauncy, Charles 

Certificate of 328 

Contemporaneous Opinion 349 

Convicts for Transportation, 1747 328 

Davis, John Brazer 

Letters to, 1819-1831 178 



Du Pont, Talleyrand and the French Spoliations 63 

Everett, William 

Memoir by Mr. Schouler 43 

Experiences of an Irish Immigrant, 1681 99 

Ford, Worttltngton Chauncey 

Smibert-Moffatt Letters 23 

Letters of Goldwin Smith 106 

Letters to John Brazer Davis 178 

Gay, Frederick Lewis 

Tribute by Mr. Lodge 258 

Grant, Ulysses S. 

Letters of, 1863 327 

Granville, Earl 

Letter to C. A. Spring Rice, 1887 62 

Gray, John Chlpman 

Memoir by Mr. Roland Gray 387 

Gray, Roland 

Memoir of John C. Gray 387 

Greenough, Charles Pelham 

Experiences of an Irish Immigrant, 1681 99 

Gross, Charles 

Memoir by Mr. Haskins 161 

Harrison, Peter, Architect 261 

Hart, Charles Henry 

Peter Harrison, Architect 261 

Harvard College, certificate to George Alcock, 1676 .... 17 
Haskins, Charles Homer 

Memoir of Charles Gross 161 

Hawley, Joseph 

Letter to the Senate of Massachusetts, 1780 79 

Historic Doubts on the Battle of Lexington 361 

Hodges, George 

Memoir of Phillips Brooks 170 

Howe, Mark Antony De Wolfe 

Journals of Josiah Quincy, Jun 424 


Journal of Josiah Quincy, Jun., 1773 424 

King, Rufus 

Letters, 1784-1786 81 



Lodge, Henry Cabot 

Tribute to Frederick L. Gay 258 

Long, John Davis 

Tribute by Mr. Rhodes 7 

Mr. Thayer 8 

Lord, Arthur 

Sale of Matchebiguatus, 1644 357 

Lyman, Arthur Theodore* 

Tribute by Mr. Wendell 60 

Members, List of 

Resident xii 

Corresponding xiv 

Honorary xiv 

Deceased xvi 

Moffatt, John 

Letters 23 

Morison, Samuel Eliot 

Du Pont, Talleyrand and the French Spoliations .... 63 

A Yankee Skipper in San Domingo, 1797 268 

Morris, Samuel 

Letter, 1797 269 

Murdock, Harold 

Historic Doubts on the Battle of Lexington 361 

Mystery in the Early Life of Hector St. John 41:2 

Old Jury 310 

Putnam, Frederic Ward 

Tribute by Mr. Rhodes 4 

Mr. Bowditch 4 

Memoir by Mr. Tozzer 482 

Rantoul, Robert Samuel 

Tribute to Samuel S. Shaw 12 

Rhodes, James Ford 

Tribute to Frederic W. Putnam 4 

John D. Long 7 

Samuel S. Shaw 11 

Robinson, William Alexander 

Washington Benevolent Society in New England ... 274 

Sale of Matchebiguatus, 1644 357 



Sanborn, Franklin Benjamin 

A Mystery in the Early Life of Hector St. John .... 412 
Savage, Charles 

Letter to Samuel Savage, 1809 90 

Sciiouler, James 

Memoir of William Everett 43 

Sharlot, Henry, case of 99 

Shaw, Samuel Savage 

Tribute by Mr. Rhodes n 

Mr. Rantoul 12 

Smibert, John 

Letters 23 

Smith, Goldwin 

Letters, 1863-1872 106 

Society for the Study of Natural Philosophy, 1801-1803 . . . 418 
Spring, Leverett Wilson 

A Case of Church Discipline in the Berkshires 96 

Strobel, Edward Henry 

Memoir by Mr. Swift 330 

Stuart, Joseph 

Letter of, 1856 290 

Swift, Lindsay 

Memoir of Edward H. Strobel 330 

Tjiayer, William Roscoe 

Tribute to John D. Long 8 

Memoir of Lucien Carr 91 

Tozzer, Alfred Marston 

Memoir of Frederic W. Putnam 482 

Warren, Winslow 

Contemporaneous Opinion 349 

Washington Benevolent Society in New England 274 

Wendell, Barrett 

Tribute to Arthur H. Lyman 60 

Willard, Joseph 

Letters, 1781-1799 416 

Yankee Skipper in San Domingo, 1797 268 



John Chipman Gray Frontispiece 

George Peabody Wetmore Collection 3 

Vertue's Notes 25 

Smibert's Writing 33 

William Everett 43 

Lucien Carr 91 

Petition of Henry Sharlot 103 

Complaint of Commissioners 105 

Charles Gross 161 

Phillips Brooks 170 

Seal and Writing of John Paul Jones 258 

Edward Henry Strobel 330 

Sale of Matchebiguatus 357 

Subscriptions to Society for the Study of Natural 

Philosophy 418 

Frederic Ward Putnam 482 




April 13, 1916. 






Correspond fag .Secretary 

ARTHUR LORD Plymouth. 




Ifltata at iLarge o! tlje Council 







Hon. Samuel Abbott Green, LL.D. 

Charles Card Smith, A.M. 


Hon. Winslow Warren, LL.B. 
Charles William Eliot, LL.D. 

Hon. Henry Cabot Lodge, LL.D. 

John Torrey Morse, Jr., Litt.D. 

Rev. Henry Fitch Jenks, A.M. 

Arthur Lord, A.B. 

Edward Channing, Ph.D. 

Edwin Pliny Seaver, A.M. 

Albert Bushnell Hart, LL.D. 

Abbott Lawrence Lowell, LL.D. 


Hon. Oliver Wendell Holmes, LL.D. 
Henry Pickering Walcott, LL.D. 


Hon. Charles Russell Codman, LL.B. 
Barrett Wendell, Litt.D. 
James Ford Rhodes, LL.D. 

Rt. Rev. William Lawrence, D.C.L. 
William Roscoe Thayer, LL.D. 


Hon.Thomas Jefferson Coolidge,LL.D. 
Hon. William Wallace Crapo, LL.D. 

Granville Stanley Hall, LL.D. 


Rev. Leverett Wilson Spring, D.D. 
Col. William Roscoe Livermore. 
Hon. Richard Olney, LL.D. 

Rev. George Angier Gordon, LL.D. 
Rev. James DeNormandie, D.D. 
Andrew McFarland Davis, A.M. 


Archibald Cary Coolidge, LL.D. 
Charles Pickering Bowditch, A.M. 


Melville Madison Bigelow, LL.D. 




Thomas Leonard Livermore, A.M. 
Nathaniel Paine, A.M. 
John Osborne Sumner, A.B. 


Henry Lee Higginson, LL.D. 
Brooks Adams, A.B. 
Grenville Howland Norcross, LL.B. 
Edward Hooker Gilbert, A.B. 


Franklin Benjamin Sanborn, A.B. 
Charles Knowles Bolton, A.B. 
Ephraim Emerton, Ph.D. 
Waldo Lincoln, A.B. 
Frederic Jesup Stimson, LL.B. 
Edward Stanwood, Litt.D. 
Moorfield Storey, A.M. 


Roger Bigelow Merriman, Ph.D. 
Charles Homer Haskins, Litt.D. 


Theodore Clarke Smith, Ph.D. 
Henry Greenleaf Pearson, A.B. 
Bliss Perry, LL.D. 


Edwin Doak Mead, A.M. 

Edward Henry Clement, Litt.D. 

Lindsay Swift, A.B. 

Hon. George Sheldon. 

Mark Antony DeWolfe Howe, Litt.D. 

Arnold Augustus Rand, Esq. 


Jonathan Smith, A.B. 
Albert Matthews, A.B. 
William Vail Kellen, LL.D. 


Frederic Winthrop, A.B. 
Hon. Robert Samuel Rantoul, LL.B. 
George Lyman Kittredge, LL.D. 
Charles Pelham Greenough, LL.B. 
Henry Ernest Woods, A.M. 


Worthington Chauncey Ford, A.M. 
William Coolidge Lane, A.B. 


Hon. Samuel Walker McCall, LL.D. 
John Collins Warren, M.D., LL.D. 
Harold Murdock, A.M. 
Henry Morton Lovering, A.M. 
Edward Waldo Emerson, M.D. 
Frederick Jackson Turner, Litt.D. 
Gardner Weld Allen, M.D. 


Henry Herbert Edes, A.M. 
George Hubbard Blakeslee, Ph.D. 
Rev. George Hodges, D.C.L. 
Richard Henry Dana, LL.B. 
George Foot Moore, LL.D. 
Gamaliel Bradford, Litt.D. 
Justin Harvey Smith, LL.D. 

John Spencer Bassett, Ph.D. 
Malcolm Storer, M.D. 
Edwin Francis Gay, Ph.D. 

Charles Grenfill Washburn, A.B. 

Rev. Thomas Franklin Waters, A.M. 
Zachary Taylor Hollingsworth, Esq. 
Chester Noyes Greenough, Ph.D. 
Joseph Grafton Minot, Esq. 
Samuel Eliot Morison, Ph.D. 
Ellery Sedgwick, A.B. 

William Crowninshield Endicott, A.B. 
Rev. Paul Revere Frothingham, D.D. 
Lincoln Newton Kinnicutt, Esq. 
Robert Grant, Ph.D. 
George Parker Winship, A.M. 
Julius Herbert Tuttle, Esq. 


Ferris Greenslet, Ph.D. 

Rev. Charles Edwards Park, A.B. 

Francis Apthorp Foster, Esq. 


1 905. 


Viscount Bryce, D.C.L. 

Rt. Hon. Sir George Otto Trevelyan 
Bart., D.C.L. 

Pasquale Villari, D.C.L. 


Adolf Harnack, D.D. 

Rt. Hon. Viscount Morley, D.C.L. 

Ernest Lavisse. 

Henry Adams, LL.D. 

Eduard Meyer, Litt.D. 

Hon. Andrew Dickson White, D.C.L. 


Hubert Howe Bancroft, A.M. 


Joseph Florimond Loubat, LL.D. 
Charles Henry Hart, LL.B. 

Franklin Bowditch Dexter, Litt.D. 

Rev. Charles Richmond Weld, LL.D. 

Hon. Woodrow Wilson, LL.D. 
Hon. Joseph Hodges Choate, D.C.L. 

John Franklin Jameson, LL.D. 

Rev. William Cunningham, LL.D. 


Hon. Simeon Eben Baldwin, LL.D. 
John Bassett Moore, LL.D. 


Frederic Harrison, Litt.D. 
Frederic Bancroft, LL.D. 
Charles Harding Firth, LL.D. 
William James Ashley, M.A. 


John Bach McMaster, LL.D. 
Albert Venn Dicey, LL.D. 


Rev. Arthur Blake Ellis, LL.B. 

Auguste Moireau. 

Hon. Horace Davis, LL.D. 

Sir Sidney Lee, LL.D. 




William Archibald Dunning, LL.D. 
James Schouler, LL.D. 
Gabriel Hanotaux. 
Hubert Hall. 


Andrew Cunningham McLaughlin, 

Hon. Beekman Winthrop, LL.B. 


Hon. James Phinney Baxter, Litt.D. 
Wilberforce Eames, A.M. 
George Walter Prothero, LL.D. 
Hon. Jean Jules Jusserand, LL.D. 
James Kendall Hosmer, LL.D. 


John Bagnell Bury, LL.D. 
Rafael Altamira y Crevea. 
Hon. James Wilberforce Longley, 

Henry Morse Stephens, Litt.D. 
Charles Borgeaud, LL.D. 


Lyon Gardiner Tyler, LL.D. 
Clarence Bloomfield Moore, A.B. 


Edward Doubleday Harris, Esq. 


Charles William Chad wick Oman 

Samuel Verplanck Hoffman, Esq. 
William Milligan Sloane, LL.D. 


Rear-Admiral French Ensor Chad- 
William MacDonald, LL.D. 

John Holland Rose, Litt.D. 

Hon. George Peabody Wetmore. 

Henry Osborn Taylor, Litt.D. 


George Macaulay Trevelyan. 
Charles Downer Hazen, Litt.D. 

July, 1915 — June, 1916. 


1882, Frederic Ward Putnam August 14, 1915 

1901, Arthur Theodore Lyman Oct. 24, 191 5 

1903, Samuel Savage Shaw Sept. 24, 191 5 

I 9°5> John Davis Long August 28, 191 5 

1914, Frederick Lewis Gay March 3, 1916 

1916, Thomas Russell Sullivan June 28, 1916 


1896, James Burrill Angell April i, 1916. 

1902, John Christopher Schwab Jan. 12, 1916. 




THE stated meeting was held on Thursday, the 14th instant, 
at three o'clock, p. m. ; the Vice-President, Mr. Rhodes, 
in the absence of the President, in the chair. 

The record of the last meeting was read and approved; 
and the Librarian reported the list of donors to the Library 
since the last meeting. 

The Cabinet-Keeper reported the following gifts: Bas-relief 
of Ebenezer Dorr (1 739-1809), a ship merchant, whose vessels 
were engaged in the North- West-Coast and East India trade. 
In the Boston Town Records of 1770 to 1783 his name appears 
in thirty-four instances as a member of committees. The first 
instance was upon March 19, 1770, as one of a "Committee 
relative to tea." Bas-relief of Abigail Cunningham (1739- 
1798), wife of Ebenezer Dorr; bas-relief of President Charles 
W. Eliot, from Mr. Henry G. Dorr, who made them; photo- 
graphs of portraits from Baldwin Coolidge, Frank W. Bayley, 
and the Worcester Art Museum; and a half-tone of George E. 
Littlefield, from Frederick J. Libbie. Also the following 
medals and store cards: the Massachusetts Society for the Pre- 
vention of Cruelty to Animals, from that society; the Boston 
Latin School, from the Boston Latin School Association; a 
souvenir penny of Colorado Springs, from Mr. Charles F. 
Read; the 1905 Decennial Medal, Harvard College, from Win- 
throp C. Richmond; the Spee Club, Cambridge, from the Club. 
He also read the following letter from Governor John A. 
Andrew, given to the Society by Miss Hetty B. Williams, of 


Commonwealth of Massachusetts. Executive Department. 

Boston, Sept. ioth, 1863. 
John A. Andrew to Williams & Everett. 

Gentlemen: — Your rooms are visited every day by multitudes 
of cultivated and refined Massachusetts women attracted by your 
displays of art. I send you with this note an iron yoke surmounted 
by three prongs, which was cut from the neck of a slave girl, nearly 
white, in New Orleans, who was liberated by military authority 
from a foul and narrow dungeon where in darkness and fear this 
poor child of sorrow had borne the double torture of confinement 
and of this painful instrument, for three weary months. She would 
have borne it indefinitely had not our arms delivered her, as they 
did many more, from her oppressors. Her offence, as it was stated 
by her mistress, was, that "she tunned away." An officer of Massa- 
chusetts Volunteers, whose letter I inclose to you, sent me this 
memento of a barbarism soon, I trust, to become wholly extinct. 
And I send it to you in the hope that you will permit it to be placed 
on exhibition for a few weeks in your rooms, where the sight of it 
and the story of the poor child who wore it may remind the mothers, 
wives and daughters, under whose eyes it may fall, of some of the 
good done by those whom they have sent from their firesides to 
encounter the hardships of war. 1 I am, Very Truly Yours, 

John A. Andrew. 

The Corresponding Secretary reported the receipt of a 
letter from Robert Grant, of Boston, accepting his election as 
a Resident Member of the Society. 

1 The Boston Transcript of September 14 contained the following notice: 
" A Southern Necklace. A necklace of peculiar material and structure, 
sent from the South, may be seen at Williams & Everett's, Washington Street. 
It is of rough iron, weighs several pounds, is hinged at the back and locked in 
front, about four inches in diameter, made to fit the neck, with three uprights 
of iron, fitted in sockets at equal distances, and about one foot in height. It 
has an eye in the top of each, as if for passing a string through, and thus draw- 
ing the ends closer around the head. The implement was found by Capt. J. 
Tyler Reed of the 3d Massachusetts cavalry, during a search of suspected 
premises near New Orleans, upon the neck of a young girl of about 18 years, 
who had been confined in a hut about nine or ten feet square, for three months, 
by a tyrannical mistress, for the crimes of running away and of suspected favor 
for the Federal cause. Shut from the air and light in a heated and putrid atmos- 
phere, with this implement of torture riveted about her neck, and corroding 
into her flesh, she was a pitiable object. She was taken to New Orleans, where 
the necklace was filed off, and the girl set free by military authority. The name 
of the woman who caused the unfortunate to be punished was Madame Coutrell, 
a French Creole, whose name has been frequently in print." 


The Editor reported the following gifts: 

From Hon. George Peabody Wetmore, the large and im- 
portant collection of Lopez-Champlin manuscripts, more 
than three thousand in number. From this collection have been 
prepared two volumes of Collections, Commerce of Rhode Island, 
1 7 26-1 800 (Seventh Series, ix and x), which indicate the extent 
and content of the papers and constitute the first really im- 
portant publication of this nature on the history of colonial 
commerce. The reception given to the first volume by stu- 
dents of economic history proved the estimation accorded to it, 
and the second volume will be ready for distribution in Novem- 
ber. The expense of publication has been generously borne 
by Mr. Wetmore. He has also presented to the Society the 
letters of Mrs. Jerome Bonaparte and of William M. Browne 
printed in this volume. 1 

From Mrs. Helen Bigelow Merriman, the patents, drawings 
and correspondence covering the inventions of her father, 
Erastus Brigham Bigelow, in the manufacture of cotton goods. 
However technical they may seem, they possess a true his- 
torical value, illustrating the development of one of the most 
distinctive industries of New England. 

From Marian P. Motley, Anna Allan and Louisa P. Norman, 
daughters of Francis W. Palfrey, the plates and all interests of 
the five volumes of History of New England, by John Gorham 

From Mrs. Charles H. Joy, a field book of surveys made in 
Ontario County, New York, by Joseph Annin and Benjamin 

From Miss Agnes Blake Poor, an account book (i 808-1 849) 
kept by her grandfather, John Pierce. 

From William K. Bixby, of St. Louis, manuscripts from his 
Jefferson collection. 

From Justin H. Smith, a full transcript of the journal of 
Isaac Senter on Arnold's Canadian expedition. 

George Parker Winship, of Cambridge, was elected a Resi- 
dent Member of the Society. 

Henry Osborn Taylor, of New York, was elected a Corre- 
sponding Member of the Society. 

1 Page 18, infra. 


The Council think it expedient to make a slight amendment 
to the By-Laws, to drop from Article 5 of Chapter VIII the 
words "not members of the Society," relating to the Assistant 
Librarian. It is necessary to make this notification in order 
that the change may be made at the next meeting of the Society. 

Mr. Rhodes spoke as follows: 

Frederic Ward Putnam was chosen a member on November 
9, 1882, and at the time of his death on August 14 stood ninth 
in seniority in the Resident roll. During his membership of 
nearly thirty-three years he had been present only at several 
meetings, and the Society received gifts from him; but one 
record of a communication, at the January meeting, 1886, is 
to be found. He was last present at a meeting of the Society 
in October, 19 10. 

Mr. Rhodes called upon Mr. Bowditch, who read the fol- 
lowing tribute: 

The most eminent American anthropologist now living has 
said that Professor Putnam was one of the three founders of 
modern anthropology in America, the other two being Dr. 
Brinton of Philadelphia and Major Powell of Washington, 
D. C. Professor Putnam's chief contribution to this result 
lay in his enthusiastic collecting of material facts which should 
form the basis of inductive studies. The collections of the Pea- 
body Museum are a monument to his zealous work in this re- 
spect, arranged, as these collections are, by his great skill and 
that of his coadjutor, Mr. Willoughby, so as to present, both to 
the student and the public, a clear sequence of the progress of 
the American races, as shown by their handiwork and remains, 
and to enable a comparative study to be made of these remains 
in connection with those of the early races of other countries. 

These collections have been built up not only by purchase, 
but by the promotion of expeditions over the northern and 
central parts of the western continent, and Professor Putnam 
has seen that these expeditions (often under his personal leader- 
ship) were conducted in the most scientific manner, recognizing 
the fact that no collection is of real value, unless accompanied 
by the most exact information in regard to every specimen. 
These expeditions have afforded an admirable example not 


only of exactness and fulness in their conduct, but of the per- 
sistence with which such expeditions should be pursued. If a 
given site of an old Indian cemetery contained three hundred 
graves, an examination of one-half of the graves would not sat- 
isfy Professor Putnam, but every grave must be opened lest 
some useful or interesting fact should escape notice. He 
would not accept any excuse for want of thoroughness. His 
investigation in the Trenton valley gravels, carried on for many 
years by Dr. Volk, and still going on, in order to determine the 
question of the early existence of man on this continent, is a 
case in point. 

It was these research expeditions, his wide acquaintance 
with scientific men and his remarkable Museum work that 
caused Professor Putnam's services to be sought after outside 
of Cambridge. The Chicago Exposition of 1893 asked for and 
received his services, and the wonderful display made in the 
anthropological department of that Exposition was due to 
his wide knowledge, his great skill as an organizer and to his 
wise selection of subordinates, who conducted expeditions to 
many parts of the world. The American Museum of Natural 
History in New York secured his aid as the Curator of Anthro- 
pology for nine years, and the University of California had 
the benefit of his services for six years as Professor of Anthro- 
pology and Director of its anthropological museum. 

Not only did Professor Putnam's work extend as above to 
other institutions than Harvard College, but his influence had 
a wide range through the training which was given in the 
Peabody Museum to the students who came there and who now 
occupy the leading anthropological positions in this country. 
Dixon and Tozzer in Harvard, Dorsey of the Field Museum in 
Chicago, Saville of Columbia University and of the Heye 
Museum in New York, Spinden and Goddard of the American 
Museum of Natural History in New York, Barrett of the Mu- 
seum in Milwaukee, Kroeber of the University of California, 
Gordon and Farabee of the University of Pennsylvania, 
Swanton of the United States Ethnological Bureau, Morley 
of the Carnegie Institution — all spent more or less time under 
Professor Putnam at the Peabody Museum and many of them 
took their degrees of Doctor of Philosophy in Anthropology 


Professor Putnam's publications were many. Including his 
annual reports in his various official capacities, they numbered 
over four hundred, and the subjects were as various as were the 
many offices which he held. In zoology he was an assistant in 
ichthyology in the University Museum at Cambridge for nine 
years and was Commissioner of Inland Fisheries of Massa- 
chusetts for seven years. He was also engaged for four years 
in the United States Geological Survey of Kentucky and in 
the survey west of the one hundredth meridian. 

He was a member of forty learned societies, among which 
were the National Academy of Sciences, the American Acad- 
emy, the Royal Society of Edinburgh and many foreign socie- 
ties. He was also a member of the French Legion of Honor. 

The conferring of an honorary degree on Professor Putnam by 
Harvard College would have been a gracious recognition of his 
worth, for it was in Cambridge that he exercised a very potent 
influence on anthropological studies. Indeed, anthropological 
studies were hardly known here thirty years ago, and it was 
only after a long period of hard labor that Professor Putnam 
finally obtained from a reluctant faculty and officers the rec- 
ognition of anthropology as one of the departments of the 

Professor Putnam held no degree from Harvard, except that 
of Bachelor of Science in 1862, though Williams gave him an 
Honorary A.M. in 1868 and the University of Pennsylvania an 
S.D. degree in 1894. An honorary degree from Oxford, Eng- 
land, was awaiting him in 191 2 if he had been able to attend 
the annual meeting of the International Society of Americanists 
in that year at London. He was elected an honorary member 
of the Harvard chapter of the Phi Beta Kappa Society in 1892. 

It is pleasant to recall, however, the memorable occasion of 
the dinner which was given to Professor Putnam on his seven- 
tieth birthday. At this dinner a memorial volume, containing 
articles written for the occasion by most of the living American 
anthropologists, was presented to him and kind words were 
spoken by Mr. Eliot and Mr. Lowell, which showed that, in 
their opinions, Professor Putnam had honored Harvard by the 
results of his life-long devotion. 

Mr. Rhodes then said: 

1915.] JOHN DAVIS LONG. 7 

John Davis Long was chosen a Resident Member on January 
12, 1905, and his record of attendance shows only an occasional 
absence. At the time of his death on August 28 he had risen 
to the fiftieth member in seniority. He was deeply interested 
in the welfare of the Society and made several contributions 
to its Proceedings. Beside his tributes to Judge James M. 
Barker, Solomon Lincoln, Alfred T. Mahan, Curtis Guild and 
our late President, Mr. Adams, as well as his memoirs of Judge 
Barker and Mr. Lincoln, he contributed four papers: "On a 
Reference to W. H. Seward in Carl Schurz's Reminiscences" \ 1 
" Reminiscences of my Seventy Years' Education " ; 2 " General 
Robert E. Lee"; 3 and on "The Civil War." 4 During the last 
four years Governor Long presided at a number of meetings in 
the absence of Mr. Adams, and at the February meeting, 19 14, 
was elected a Vice-President to fill the vacancy caused by the 
resignation of Dr. Green. He was a member of the Council 
from April, 1909, to April, 191 1, when he made its annual re- 
port to the Society and served on important committees. 
The Library was the recipient of several valuable gifts through 
his interest. 

Governor Long was a welcome member of the Council. It 
was Mr. Adams' custom to get the members together at dinner, 
but during the actual dinner the business of the Society was 
rarely referred to. Governor Long was a genial man on such 
an occasion. He was a good converser and his wit was always 
well placed. 

He was an excellent presiding officer and had the faculty of 
making the meetings go. Witty in his allusions, he was apt in 
his classical references, which could not fail to bring to our minds 
the Democratic story that he was pushed for governor or con- 
gressman because he had translated the Aeneid. He had the 
gift of appropriate extemporaneous remarks, which he emi- 
nently showed in speaking of General Chamberlain's connec- 
tion with our Civil War. 

Mr. Lord gave an appreciation of Mr. Long as a man in 
public and private life, and related some of his characteristic 
utterances to illustrate his position in the public eye. 

1 Proceedings, xli. 33. 2 lb., xlii. 348. 

3 lb., xliv. 592. 4 lb., xlvi. 175. 


Mr. Thayer followed: 

I am asked to say something about Governor Long's connec- 
tion with Harvard College, a connection which lasted during 
more than sixty years. 

Many of the members here present will recall the delightful 
bit of autobiography which he read to us at our June meeting 
in 1909. In it he recorded the smattering of education, as it 
would now be reckoned, which he received at home and at the 
academy of Hebron, Maine. He was evidently one of those 
bookish boys, quick at his studies, whose parents early mark 
out for them a college career. He does not tell us how he came 
to be sent to Harvard rather than to the nearer Bowdoin Col- 
lege at Brunswick. What he found at Cambridge and how far 
Harvard influenced him will appear from the following quota- 
tion, taken from the reminiscences I have just referred to: 

The result of my few terms at Hebron Academy was that I en- 
tered Harvard College in 1853, at fourteen years of age. ... I 
look back upon my college education with less satisfaction than 
any other part of my life. I was not thoroughly fitted. I was too 
young. The mistake was made, with a well-meant but mistaken 
view of saving me from the "dangers of college life," of boarding me 
for the first two or three years a mile away from the college — as 
if there were any dangers or, if there were, as if the best part of a 
college education was not to get the rub of them. Hence it hap- 
pened that I then formed no personal association with my class- 
mates, and always felt remote and as if I presented the picture of 
a forlorn little fellow who ought to have been at home. To this 
day I have never got over an awe of them that I have never had of 
anybody else. ... I recollect no instruction which was not of the 
most perfunctory and indifferent sort, unless possibly it was that 
of Professor Cooke in chemistry and Professor Child in English. 
The only impression made on me by one professor was that of a 
pair of staring spectacles and an immovable upper lip, and by 
another of a throaty growl in his Sophoclean larynx. There was an 
entire lack, to me, of all moral or personal influences. I look back 
with a certain pathetic commiseration on myself, unwarmed for the 
whole four years by a single act or word expressive of interest on 
the part of those to whom my education was intrusted. And this 
is literally true. The element of personal influence was entirely 
lacking. No instructor or officer ever gave me a pat on the shoul- 
der physically, morally, or intellectually. 

1915.] JOHN DAVIS LONG. 9 

We need not be surprised that Long, conscious of his great 
shyness, his youth and his remoteness from undergraduate 
life, did not figure in college societies, except in Phi Beta Kappa, 
to which his excellent scholarship admitted him. It is quite 
evident also that after leaving Harvard and taking up the prac- 
tice of law, he was thrown less with Harvard acquaintances 
than with others. The mingling of politics and law, which 
came about very naturally, tended also to bring him into asso- 
ciation with all sorts of men. So far as I discover, his first public 
recognition by Harvard was in 1880, when the University con- 
ferred upon him the honorary degree of Doctor of Laws, a 
distinction which then was bestowed upon each governor of 
Massachusetts, irrespective of his previous condition or of his 
intellectual or moral attainments. It happened, however, that 
the next governor was General Benjamin F. Butler, and that the 
Harvard Governing Boards seized the occasion for abolishing 
the ex officio honor. About that time Mr. Long was a candidate 
for the Harvard Board of Overseers, but was defeated, prob- 
ably because the Harvard electorate then regarded him as 
belonging rather conspicuously to the class, held in suspicion 
by the fastidious, of so-called " practical politicians. " 

But the Governor's time of vindication — if the word be not 
too severe — came. From 1897 to 1902 he served as Secretary 
of the Navy, and in the last year having been chosen president 
of the Harvard Alumni Association, he presided at the historic 
commencement dinner, when President Roosevelt and Secretary 
Hay spoke. At the election for Overseers on that day he led 
the poll. On organizing in the following September, the Board 
made him its president, a most unusual mark of confidence, 
because a new member is seldom thought of for that office. 
During the ensuing eleven years Governor Long was annually 
reelected, without opposition, as president. On the completion 
of his first term of six years as Overseer, he was immediately 
reelected, being nominated by certificate, in spite of the fact 
that a new rule required a year's intermission between one term 
and another of an Overseer. 

Governor Long not only fulfilled admirably the duties of 
president, but he took an active part as a member of commit- 
tees, and he displayed much zeal and affection for the Alma 
Mater whom he had regarded as an unsympathetic stepmother 


half a century before. His ability as a presiding officer can 
hardly be overrated. As Speaker of the Massachusetts House 
of Representatives in the late seventies, he learned the rules 
which pertain to that office so thoroughly that he was never 
surprised or puzzled by the springing up of a technical point. 
He directed an ordinary business meeting with businesslike 
precision and despatch, guarding against unnecessary talk, 
keeping the members to the subject under discussion and 
applying the rules without favor. He was dignified but always 
courteous, so that although he allowed little time to be wasted, 
he never failed in good humor; and if there came a moment of 
tension, he relieved it by some good-natured remark. As Presi- 
dent of the Board of Overseers it fell to Governor Long to 
induct Abbott Lawrence Lowell into the office of President of 
Harvard College, a duty which he performed with memorable 

When his class celebrated their semi-centennial in 1907 the 
survivors inevitably selected Governor Long to be their spokes- 
man, and he made the best of the thirty or more valedictories 
which I have heard or read, a model of its kind, as these opening 
paragraphs will show: 

I should be happy to speak for my classmates if I knew where 
they are. I left them — it was only yesterday — clustered in the 
College Yard, a merry, brown-haired, beardless crowd of boys, 
with a college song on their lips and the sunrise on their faces. But 
all this forenoon I have been looking for them and can find only a 
half-dozen, and even these have disguised themselves as Rip Van 
Winkles in the last act of that play. I am told that some of them 
are off to the war risking life for union and freedom; that some of 
them are sawing the air in pulpit or court or forum, and that others 
are reaching up to make their mark in letters or the professions or 
the industrial and business world. 

I cannot find them. I am sure, however, that they are all 
here, a few with their shields, though the rest are on them — 
all here or accounted for, ready, while their Alma Mater calls 
the roll, to lay their record in her lap and hoping to receive on 
their heads the pat of her benignant hand. Time would fail me 
to do justice to the record of each of them; it would be invidious 
to speak of some of them and not of all. They have done the best 
they could. 1 

1 Printed in full in the Harvard Graduates Magazine, September, 1907. 


Another Harvard distinction brightened the Indian summer 
of his career, in which he enjoyed to the full, 

That which should accompany old age, 
As honor, love, obedience, troops of friends, 

was the presidency of Phi Beta Kappa. He excelled alike in 
introducing the orator and poet on the stage of Sanders Theatre, 
and in serving as toastmaster at the dinner in the Harvard 
Union. His wit sharpened the wits of those whom he called 
up. He was indeed an ideal toastmaster, adapting himself per- 
fectly to the needs of different occasions, and quite unrivalled, 
as far as my personal observation goes, among the Massa- 
chusetts public men of the last twenty years. 

He had the satisfaction — and I believe that he greatly 
prized it — of rinding himself looked up to and appreciated by 
the Harvard constituency as one of the chief worthies of his 
generation, a graduate whose life work it crowned with the 
highest honors it can give. 

Mr. Rhodes spoke of the late Samuel Savage Shaw, elected 
a Resident Member of the Society on March 12, 1903, who died 
at his home, 49 Mt. Vernon Street, Boston, on September 24, 
in the eighty-second year of his age. During his membership 
he was present at more than two-thirds of the meetings, and 
also showed his interest by making gifts of mss. and colonial 
newspapers, including some papers of his father, Lemuel Shaw, 
and of Samuel Phillips Savage, which have been valuable addi- 
tions to the Society's collection. He wrote the memoirs of 
Henry Stedman Nourse, 1 of Uriel Haskell Crocker 2 and of 
Henry Gardner Denny. 3 

He served on several committees, and was a member of the 
House Committee from 1907 to 19 14. He was chosen a member 
of the Council in April, 1906, and in 1908 at the close of his 
term submitted its report to the Society. 4 His last attendance 
was at the June meeting, 19 13. 

Among the papers of Chief Justice Shaw are threatening 
letters sent to him at the time he presided at the trial of 
Professor Webster for the murder of Parkman. I wish our old 
associate John Fiske were here to tell with his usual gusto 

1 2 Proceedings, xvm. 292. 2 lb., xix. 554. 

3 lb., xli. 310. 4 lb., xli. 412. 


one of his stories. "An English gentleman remarked to an 
American: 'What a giant intellect that Webster of yours had! 
To think of so great an orator and statesman writing that 
dictionary! But I felt sure that one who towered so much 
above his fellows would come to a bad end and I was not a bit 
surprised to learn that he had been hanged for the murder of 
Dr. Parkman.'" 

Owing to the absence of Mr. Rantoul the following tribute, 
prepared by him, was read by Mr. Waters : 

Samuel Savage Shaw (H. U. '53) was the youngest child of 
Lemuel Shaw (H. U. 1800) and of his second wife, Hope Savage 
Shaw. The mother was a daughter of Dr. Samuel Savage 
of Barnstable. She married in 1827, and had borne to her 
husband, before he became Chief Justice of Massachusetts, a 
son, Lemuel (H. U. '49). The judge had married, in 18 18, Eliza, 
a daughter of Josiah Knapp, a Boston merchant, and she had 
borne him a son, Oakes, and a daughter who became the wife of 
Herman Melville. Judge Shaw's father (H. U. 1758) and his 
grandfather (H. U. 1729) were South Shore clergymen, the 
latter of whom had four sons graduated at Harvard, and all 
in the pulpit. The judge's father — the Reverend Oakes 
Shaw — was settled at Barnstable between 1760 and 1807. 
The judge's mother was a sister of Dr. Lemuel Hayward (H. U. 
1768), of Braintree. The judge was born at Barnstable in 
1 78 1. The house in which he was born, and the meeting-house 
in which his father preached, are still standing. William Smith 
Shaw (H. U. 1798), whose aunt married John Adams, was Judge 
Shaw's cousin. The judge entered Harvard at fifteen. 

No Chief Justice of Massachusetts, except Parsons, would 
be named as taking rank with Shaw, and it is likely that the 
verdict of the future will rank Shaw first. His decisions fill a 
large space in fifty of the two hundred and nineteen volumes of 
Massachusetts Reports. He was placed, in 1830, without ju- 
dicial training, at the head of the Massachusetts Bench, by Gov- 
ernor Lincoln, who while a judge had presided at the trial of 
causes in which Shaw appeared as counsel. He had also been 
associated with Lincoln in the impeachment trial of Judge 
Prescott, which was conducted before a special session of the 
legislature of 182 1, Lincoln being a state senator and one of 


the prosecutors and Shaw arguing the articles of impeachment 
in behalf of the House, against Daniel Webster, who was for the 
defence. In 1830 persuasion was found needful to induce 
Shaw to accept the elevation proposed to him, for he was al- 
ready building up a most lucrative and distinguished practice, 
and to become, at his age, Chief Justice of Massachusetts was 
to doom himself to a life of hard labor coupled with limited 
remuneration. Strong words from Webster are said to have 
tipped the balance. 

The Chief Justice quit the bench at the age of eighty, after 
a thirty years' term of active service, and died within the year. 
He was the consummate product of New England citizenship. 
No feature was lacking which could grace so monumental a 
figure. He was of the Corporation of Harvard for twenty- 
seven consecutive years, and to see him, year after year, at the 
commencement dinner, lead off the singing of "Give Ear! Ye 
Children!" was something not to be forgotten. He was con- 
spicuous in the Massachusetts Constitutional Convention of 
1820. He drafted, in 1822, the charter which made Boston a 
city, and the Memorial to Congress of the New England Manu- 
facturers when, in 1829, they had begun to fear that too much 
protection would tempt small capitalists into the business, to 
the detriment of those who had ventured largely already. When 
raised from the bar to be Chief Justice of the Commonwealth, 
he had served a course of training in the School of Free Govern- 
ment, the most complete and exhaustive. At the age of nine- 
teen he had passed through Harvard with credit, and at twenty- 
three had been admitted to the bar. He had been master of a 
district school. In Boston he had been an usher in a grammar 
school, a fire warden, a selectman, a school committee man, 
a state representative and senator, and orator on the Fourth of 
July. He had helped edit the Gazette. And, when on the bench, 
he stamped his sign-manual upon the settlement of the differ- 
ences arising between the Unitarians and the denominations 
from which they withdrew, upon the Charlestown Convent 
Riot cases of 1834, upon the Journeymen Bootmakers' case of 
1840, upon the Sims Extradition case of 1850 and upon the 
case of the Commonwealth vs. Alger in 185 1. He presided at 
the trial of Dr. Webster. 

Samuel Savage Shaw was the child of his mature years. 


Born at Boston, October 16, 1833, the boy had been taught at 
infant-schools, one of them kept at the corner of Botolph and 
Myrtle streets and one at the corner of Hancock and Derne 
streets, both houses, as he lived to see, wiped out of being by 
the building of the Beacon Hill reservoir, which in its turn gave 
way to the rear extension of the State House. He was born in 
a house standing at the top of Beacon Hill, just south of the 
cross street named for the founder of this Society, Belknap 
Street, in which his father had succeeded Stephen Higginson 
by purchase, two years before. It was a narrow, brick house, 
with its end on Sumner, formerly Olive, and now Mount 
Vernon Street, having an entrance on the southerly side, and 
being approached by a paved carriageway leading to a stable in 
the rear. This carriageway the judge built over, thus extend- 
ing the width of his dwelling by one-third, and acquiring an 
entrance on the street, an ample hall, a commodious dining 
room and much needed working rooms and chambers above 

Shaw was a precocious child, having begun to fit himself for a 
Harvard course at the age of eleven. His mother was one of 
the most delightful of women. Growing up with such a parent- 
age and in the midst of such surroundings, it would have been 
strange had he not shown marked traits of character and mind. 
After five years at the Latin School he entered college in 1849, 
and was graduated, in course, at the age of twenty, a studious 
youth with strong leanings toward literature and art. At Har- 
vard he was a "Hasty Pudding" man, and an editor and orator 
of that fraternity. Alone in Massachusetts Hall two years, 
his piano was his congenial room-mate. He was at the Dane 
Law School from 1853 to I ^55- After a term in the office of 
Sidney Bartlett, who had been a student with, and later a part- 
ner of, his father, he was admitted to the Suffolk bar in 1856. 

Equipped with such rare letters of introduction as his father 
could furnish him — the judge was known and esteemed wher- 
ever reverence was felt for English law — he spent the next 
two years in Europe, travelling through England, Scotland, 
Belgium, Holland, the Rhine valley, and visiting Berlin, Dres- 
den, Vienna, Genoa, Naples, Rome, meanwhile enjoying to 
the full the opportunities of theatre and opera and orchestral 
music, of which he was very fond, and devoting his spare 


moments to the continental languages and literatures, where 
he was already much at home. In Berlin he met, at the 
residence of George Ticknor of Boston, Alexander von Hum- 

On his return he began professional life, in 1858, at the Old 
State House and in Court Street, sharing rooms for eight years 
with his close and valued friend, Edward Ellerton Pratt. Fol- 
lowing the exodus of the bar to Pemberton Square, he moved 
there in 1868, and thence, after eight more years, to Milk 
Street, where he spent the last ten years of his law practice as a 
roommate of Henry H. Sprague and the Brothers Crocker. 
He rarely appeared in court. His business life was mainly taken 
up with conveyancing, the searching of titles and the care of 
trust estates, some of which trusts he inherited from his 
brother Lemuel, who died in 1884. Some of his trusts presented 
features of general interest. He was executor or trustee in the 
estates of William Sturgis and of Henry P. Kidder. Adelaide 
Phillips was a contemporary, and in his callow days, when he 
sat in the square gallery-pew occupied by the Chief Justice, on 
the right hand of Dr. Young's pulpit at Church Green, Miss 
Phillips sang the contralto parts in the choir on Sundays and 
played juvenile roles during the week at the Boston Museum, 
which was then just built. Jenny Lind helped her to go abroad, 
where she developed a rare voice and good dramatic powers, 
and she returned to an operatic career in America. She was 
devoted to her aged mother, and largely for her sake accumu- 
lated a property which, as trustees, the Brothers Shaw ad- 

He was a director of the Rockport Granite Company. He 
was a trustee and secretary of the Boston Library Society, in 
which he felt an interest that never waned. The liberal dona- 
tion made to it in his will bore testimony to the debt he owed 
to books for his enjoyment of life, and of this his own choice 
collection was no doubtful witness. He was, from March, 1903, 
a Resident Member of the Massachusetts Historical Society. 
He was an early member and constant frequenter of the Union 
Club. He had crossed the Atlantic a great many times, and, 
if we except the tour of India, China and the Far East, 
which he projected in his declining years but found himself 
unable to accomplish, he might fairly be said to have visited 


every section of the world which it is held especially desirable 
to see. 

The subject of this notice had been a favorite actor in "Hasty 
Pudding" days and, on one occasion, while at the Law School, 
enacted the leading part in a play called " Sketches in India," 
which was presented at the historic mansion of Governor 
Hutchinson at Milton, then the residence of the well-known 
Russell family. This performance was given before a distin- 
guished gathering, counting among them Charles Sumner, 
Richard H. Dana and Franklin Haven, and in it also appeared 
a daughter of Dr. Samuel Kirkland Lothrop, afterwards the 
wife of Dr. Charles Dudley Homans, and a daughter of Dr. 
William Parsons Lunt, afterwards the wife of Colonel Paul 
Joseph Revere. 

Shaw was, until two years ago, when failing health deprived 
him of the resource, a constant and interested attendant on the 
gatherings of this Society, and enjoyed its honors, having been 
of the House Committee from 1907, for seven years, and having 
submitted the report of the Council for 1908 at the close of his 
service in that board. He made frequent gifts of manuscripts, 
of colonial newspapers and of papers derived from the accu- 
mulations of his father's estate. He gave the Society a 
walking-stick of oak, made from timber of the Frigate Con- 
stitution, and presented to the Chief Justice by his friend, 
Captain John Percival, the " Fighting Jack" of the navy. 
His contribution of papers derived from the estate of Samuel 
Phillips Savage has been particularly prized as furnishing 
material for the Proceedings. Besides a letter submitted for 
printing, in 1904, written by Henry Phillips, just after the 
Woodbridge-Phillips duel, to his mother, Shaw contributed, 
at sundry times, memoirs of his classmates, Nourse and 
Crocker, and of his close friend and co-worker in the Boston 
Library Society, Henry G. Denny, the lifelong secretary of 
the Harvard Class of 1852. 

In 1863 Shaw became the secretary of his class and filled 
the place with great acceptance for fifty years and more. The 
sketches of class members prepared by him, from time to time, 
on their decease, and printed in the Advertiser or in the Tran- 
script, were models of discrimination and good taste. Not 
every class is blessed with the devotion of a member who joins 


so fine a sense of fellowship with so nice a choice of phrase. 
His class-dinners were unique occasions. As a homely neces- 
sity, finely met, becomes a thing of beauty — " makes drudgery 

divine" — 

Who sweeps a room, as for God's laws, 
Makes that and th' action fine! — 

as Mr. Emerson applauded Mr. Forbes for his carving, as 
Dumas took pride in being reckoned the first cook in Paris, as 
Shaw says in his memoir of Denny, "He enjoyed the arrange- 
ment of dinners . . . excelled in dinner-giving himself . . . 
and was learned in the literature of the cuisine," so it may be 
claimed for Shaw that he raised the class-dinner quite 
above the plane of grossness to the level of a fine art. If 
the ill fortune had befallen a classmate to have made him- 
self obnoxious in any way, the class secretary saw to it 
that he was seated near himself, so that he might be assured 
of good usage and inclined to come again. Shaw was there 
not primarily for his own enjoyment, but to insure the enjoy- 
ment of the rest. 

He died, unmarried, September 24, 1915, in the house in 
which he had been born, a house in which the most attractive 
and devoted of mothers had moulded his fine spirit, a house 
which had witnessed the accomplishment, day by day, of the 
great Chief Justice's monumental work. 

Dr. Green exhibited an ancient parchment given by 
Harvard College to George Alcock (1655-1677), which 
came down to him among his family papers, and which 
he intends to give to the College Library. Mr. Alcock 
was a graduate in the class of 1673; an d tne family name 
now is usually written "Alcott." The document reads as 
follows: 1 

Per integrum illud tempus (viz) septennium quo apud nos 
comoratus est Georgius Alcock Collegij Harvardini Canta- 
brigiae, in Nova-Anglia alumnus, et in artibus liberalibus Bac- 
calaureus, bonarum literarum studijs vitae probitatem ad- 
junxit; adeo ut nobis spem amplam fecerit se in Ecclesiae 
et Reipublicae comodum victurum: Quapropter hoc de illo 

1 The document is printed in Sibley, Harvard Graduates, 11. 420, where a 
sketch of Alcock appears. 



Testimonium omnibus quorum interesse possit perhibemus Nos 
quorum nomina Subscripta sunt. 

Urianus Oakes, Praeses. 

Daniel Gookin. 1 

Ammi-Ruhamah Corlett. > Socii. 
Petrus Thacherus. J 

Datum Coll: Harvard: Cantab: 
in Nov.-Anglia April io°: 1676: 

Mr. J. H. Smith exhibited some exceedingly rare documents 
relating to the Mexican War, which he described. 

Mr. Wetmore's gift to the Society was the following two 

Elizabeth Bonaparte to William Patterson. 

Cheltenham, Sep'r 2, 1815. 

Dear Sir, — I perceive with much regret by your letters re- 
specting me to Persons of this Country that you announce to them 
that I conceived myself ill and had embarked contrary to the wishes 
of my Friends. 

I shall answer categorically these two accusations, and answer 
them without temper. The Physicians of England are willing to 
give a Certificate of their opinion that there is an accumulation of 
Bile on my Liver which would have killed me, or produced the last 
stage of Hypochondria in three months had I not gone to sea and 
tried change of climate. They will likewise state that if the disease 
does not yeild to a course of mercury or the waters of this place it 
will fall on the Lungs and terminate my life. As to leaving America, 
without the Consent of my Friends. It appears to me that, if in- 
deed, I have Friends there, they would have wished me to come to 
a Country where I am cherished, visited, respected and admired. 
It appears to me, that if I have Friends in America, their Friendship 
might have been shewn in some more agreeable mode than rinding 
fault with me for being miserable in a Country where I never was 
appreciated and where I never can be contented. 1 It appears to 
me natural too that, if I have Friends in America, which I have, I 
reluctantly confess, sometimes doubted, that their pride might be 
gratified in hearing that I am in the first society in Europe: and that 
too for my personal merits — for without vanity I may say so; 
since I have neither rank, fortune, nor Friends of my own, willing 
to assist or protect me. I acknowledge that the standing I possess 

1 Proceedings, xlvii. 303, 484W. 


in this Country is highly flattering and that it is not surprising I 
should prefer People of rank and Distinction who are willing to 
notice me — their attentions are very gratuitous for I am a very 
poor Stranger and a very unfortunate one on many accounts. 
My misfortunes and the declining state of my health have excited 
more interest here than in my own Country and have been a Pass- 
port to the Favour of the Great, my talents and manners are likely 
to preserve their good opinion. What you have written of me to 
Europe will have very bad effects. Either People will wonder you 
should not wish my health restored and that you should not be 
pleased at knowing me in the first Society, or they will conclude me 
to be a Hippocrite and disobedient Child who has bribed medical 
men to say my life is in danger. There is likewise another effect 
likely to result from your writing such things of me, which is this. 
Every one who knows me, has heard that your Wealth is enormous 
and consequently they think I shall have a large Fortune from you 
— in Europe a handsome Woman who is likely to have a Fortune 
may marry well, but if it gets about that her Parents are dissatis- 
fied with her they will think she will get nothing by them and if 
she had the Beauty of Venus and the talents of Minerva, no one 
will marry her. People here are not such Fools as to marry poor 
Beauties however much they may admire them. The reputation 
of your Fortune would be a great advantage to me abroad and I 
am sure you cannot object to my having the honor of it, provided 
you keep the Substance. I beg that whatever you may think, you 
will say nothing and especially write nothing about me — unless it 
be something likely to advance me. The power of riches here is 
great and your Money I assure you would if you say nothing more 
about me or your not liking my absence, be of great use to me. 
I mean only the reputation of it, for alas! the substance is not mine. 
I get on extremely well and I assure you that altho' you have always 
taken me for a Fool, it is not my character here. In America I 
appeared more simple than I am, because I was completely out of 
my element — it was my misfortune not my Fault that I was born 
in a Country which was not congenial to my desires. Here I am 
completely in my Sphere, (money excepted), and in contact with 
modes of life for which Nature intended me. The ambition of my 
character made me wretched amidst scenes where it could only be 
disappointed, here it might be satisfied. I have taken a house be- 
side and under the protection of my amiable Friends Sir Arthur and 
Lady Brooke Falkener. The Family with whom I came over remain 
at a Boarding House. Many persons of rank advised me to remove 
as People of Fashion never live in Boarding Houses. Every thing 


you write to McElhiney he will tell, to give himself a consequence 
in being connected with us. In this Country distinctions in society 
are so much attended to, that connections with people who are not 
known, however honest and respectable they may be, are not tol- 
erated. He is a well-meaning man but entirely unfit for your con- 
fidence — only proper to be written to on Business, since there is 
no danger of his bragging of that. I feel convinced that your 
own good judgment will properly appreciate my motives in writing 
this letter and that it is not a motive of vanity which dictates what 
I tell you. Your own Pride must be interested in having me the 
object of public esteem and your interest is to have me placed in an 
elevated situation. As to the opinions of old Mr. Gilmor and other 
very respectable and worthy Persons, that I ought to be in Balti- 
more they only tell you so, because they know that their Daughters 
might come here and never be known. Besides they are envious 
of your Fortune and my situation. Look how they run after the 
poorest sprigs of Nobility and then you will know what they think 
of my standing in Europe. I am surprized you do not perceive the 
advantages of my Position compared with that of the daughters of 
other People in Baltimore and that you permit the chattering of 
envious People to influence you. You well know that the wealth of 
our Family and the consequence which from many circumstances 
we possess, must be very disagreeable to others in every respect. 
If People do not approbate my conduct in America, what is the rea- 
son they paid me so much attention? Ask George what I was in 
New York? What other American woman was ever attended to 
as I have been there? Who ever had better offers? I never would 
marry without rank or God knows I might have got money enough 
by marriage. My child too, your Grand Son, would be of more 
consequence here than the Wives and whole generations of Ameri- 
can Quality. They know it well which is the reason they owe me a 
grudge, and they try to put mischief in your head upon that ac- 
count. They are afraid of your supporting me in a rank and of your 
sending my Child where he will be in one which all their Govern- 
ment Stock, Insurance Stock and real Property could never put them. 
Let them come and try which is of most consequence they or me. 
I confess that it would have been perhaps a blessing if I could have 
vegetated as the Wife of some respectable Man in Business, but 
you know that Nature never intended me for obscurity, and that 
with my disposition and character I am better as I am. Adieu my 
Dear Sir I am going to dress for a Ball at Lady Candagues and 
am then obliged to go to one at Gen'l Irwin's. I expect the Ameri- 
cans in Europe who cannot go out will write lies about those who 


can. I beg this letter may not be shown to Robert, as he never 
keeps any thing to himself, and that you will consider the impro- 
priety of writing any thing except what will produce a good effect 
in this Country. All my conduct is calculated, but you will undo the 
effect of my prudence if you write to certain people, who shew your 
letters. Let people think you are proud of me, which indeed you 
have good reason to be as I am very prudent and wise. 

Elizabeth Bonaparte. 

She returned to the United States in 1816, but found it so 
uncongenial that she was again in Europe in May of the next 
year. Glimpses of her are to be seen in the Diary of James Gal- 
latin. Among them may be noted this, written August n, 
18 1 6, when she came to Paris on her way to America: 
" Madame Patterson Bonaparte arrived this morning from 
Geneva. Her baggage nearly rilled the antechamber. She 
is very lovely, but hard in expression and manner. I don't 
think she has much heart. Her son seems to be her one 
thought. She had a very long talk with father about his 
future (her son's) ; she is most ambitious for him. She even 
has a list of the different princesses who will be available for 
him to marry: as he is only ten years old, it is looking far 

Paris 10th July [1815 ?] 

D'r Sir, enclosed are two letters one for Miss Spear and one for 
Bo. My letters by the Galatins are no doubt rec'd by this time, as 
well as others written since. I shall write when I want farther re- 
mittances which will certainly not be for a year or more. The 
Money I wrote to you I have rec'd has been the reason of my hav- 
ing no occasion for farther remittances. 

[Addressed,] William Patterson Esqr., No. 20. South Street, 
Baltimore, United S'ts of America. [Postmarked,] New- York Aug. 25. 
[Memorandum,] Ans'd 15th Sept., Betsy Paris 10 July. 1 

William M. Browne to Wilmot G. De Saussure. 

Confidential. Richmond, June 18, 1861. 

My dear Sir: — In my telegram of yesterday, I promised to 
write you fully in relation to Mr. Hurlbut 2 in connection with whom 

1 This note is written on the back of an envelope, and is without year of 
writing. The Gallatins returned to the United States in 1815. 

2 William Henry Hurlbut (1827-1895) had a varied career, and one of the 
principal incidents was his detention by the Confederate authorities as a 


my name had been so disagreeably mixed up. I do so in justice to 
myself and to you, in order that whatever action you may take in 
regard to him may be based on a full knowledge of the facts. 

Five or six years ago when I was Editor of the N. Y. Journal of 
Commerce, I made the acquaintance at the Press Club of Mr. 
Hurlbut, then, I believe, engaged as literary Editor^ of Putnam's 
Magazine. From my avocations and political associations, I had 
very little intercourse with him, beyond meeting him occasionally 
at the monthly dinners of the Club. During the last Presidential 
canvass, indeed prior to the meeting of the Democratic Convention, 
while I was Editor and Proprietor of the Constitution at Washing- 
ton, I learned that Mr. Hurlbut, then Editor of the N. Y. Times, 
had become fully convinced of the errors of black republicanism, 
had resolved to abjure that political creed, and become a democrat. 
I was fully aware of Mr. Hurlbut's antecedents and political sins, 
but was assured by friends on whom I placed full reliance, staunch 
Southern men, that Mr. Hurlbut's conversion was sincere and com- 
plete, and that he was anxious to atone for his past offenses. I know 
that Mr. Hurlbut endeavored so far as he could to make the Times 
oppose the black republican party, and failing in that, to make it 
neutral; and that when on the return of Mr. Raymond from 
Europe he found that the paper was to support Mr. Lincoln's 
candidacy, he resigned his position as Editor which was very 
lucrative, and devoted all his energies and ability to the service of 
the States' Rights Democratic Party. I know this from personal 
observation and from the information of most trusty and faithful 
friends. I know that it is mainly owing to Mr. Hurlbut's letters 
(public and private) to the London Times that we are to attribute 
the present friendly course of that journal in relation to the Con- 
federate States, and it is due to justice to add that, together with 
others now occupying positions of trust in the Government of the 
Confederate States, I believe in the sincerity of Mr. Hurlbut and 
in his anxiety by faithful service, to wipe out as far as possible his 
past record. I was led to believe that Mr. Hurlbut had several 
connections in Charleston with whom he was in communication 
who confided in him, and who invited him to reside in that city and 
write for the press. I was also informed that he was in confidential 
intercourse with leading men in South Carolina; and, though I 
never wrote or spoke to Mr. Hurlbut in any way that I should ob- 
ject to being published, I regarded him since the election of Lincoln, 

" suspect." The official papers, in his case, with the exception of the letter 
now printed, are in War Records, Series h\, II. 1490. He changed the spelling 
of his name to Hurlbert. 


as an earnest friend of the Southern cause, and replied to the three 
or four letters which he wrote me, but did not direct any of them to 
Charleston, save one, which was sent under cover to a person there 
to be forwarded. 

When Mr. Hurlbut arrived in Richmond on the 8th instant, he 
called on me, but I did not see him. On the next morning I received 
a note from him stating that he had arrived and was bearer of news 
to the Government from leading men, friends of mine in Maryland. 
I saw him on the same day, and during our interview, Mr. Benjamin, 
the Attorney General, who shares my opinions in regard to him, 
was present. On the next day I found from letters addressed to the 
President by persons here, and from other sources, that Mr. Hurl- 
but was suspected of being a spy on account of his antecedents, not 
from any other cause. I knew that it was impossible for him or those 
who trusted him, however high their position, to remove these 
suspicions, and as he said he intended to visit Charleston, with the 
knowledge of my friends in office, I advised him to leave Richmond 
at once and go to Charleston where he said he would be secure 
against suspicion. He left, I believe on Tuesday the nth instant, 
for Charleston, but I did not give him any safe conduct of the 
State Department, nor did I authorize him to refer to me in any 

I have given you a full and faithful detail of my knowledge of, 
intercourse with, and views in relation to Mr. Hurlbut. If he is 
false — if he has not abandoned the North and the Northern enemies 
of the South, I and others have been grossly deceived. I know the 
difficulty he must encounter in getting over the natural suspicion 
and indignation which his past course must occasion, and for that 
reason, having faith in his sincerity, I would desire to smoothen 
his path. 

I do not attempt to advise you as to the manner in which you 
should deal with him, being assured that your course will be dic- 
tated by justice and the good of the country. 

I have the honor to be, Sir, Your very faithful servant, 

Wm. M. Browne. 

Hon. Wilmot G. De Saussure, Sec of the Treasury. 

Wm. M. Browne, Esq'r, Asst. Secy. State C. S. A. 18 June, 1861. Ans'd. 

Mr. Ford eommunicated the following 

Smibert-Moffatt Letters : 

The following letters from or relating to John Smibert are 
drawn from three sources, the British Museum, Mr. Charles 


Henry Hart and the Chamberlain mss. in the Public Library of 
the City of Boston. Those obtained from the British Museum 
were sent to the Society by Professor Guernsey Jones, in connec- 
tion with the Copley-Pelham letters, but were laid aside as not 
immediately germane to the volume of collections in which the 
Copley-Pelham material was used. 

In the Vertue Papers Professor Jones also found a crude 
sketch of an unfinished painting by Smibert — a group of the 
" Vertuosi" — in which Smibert himself was represented. The 
painting has been lost, a diligent inquiry in this country and 
abroad offering no clue to its history or present location. In 
the hope that so interesting a painting may yet be found and 
identified, the Vertue sketch is reproduced. 

While making the search for this painting I found the follow- 
ing item in the catalogue of the Strawberry Hill collections: 

A folio tract in manuscript, called The Virtuosi, or St. Luke's 
Club, held at the Rose Tavern, first established by Sir Anthony 
Vandyck, with the autographs of all the eminent artists of the day. 
This manuscript evidently shows the first commencement of the 
Arts Union, and is very curious. Lot 120, Sixth Day's Sale. 

This manuscript was purchased at the sale for £9.9 by Lewis 
Pocock, who had been active in founding the Art Union of 
London in 1837. He had evidently been attracted by the 
description in the catalogue, one of those general statements 
which mislead the incautious collector. That he obtained a 
prize can hardly be doubted, but he appears to have kept the 
document to himself. Ten years later, in 1852, J. H. A., in 
Notes and Queries (1st Series, v. 487), inquired what had be- 
come of it, and gave a few extracts, one of which proved that 
the record covered as early a time as 1698, but no further 
date is given. A brief account of Pocock is to be found in the 
Dictionary of National Biography. An art amateur, he acted 
for many years as an "honorary Secretary" of the Art Union 
of London, an organization which handled some $70,000 a 
year and dispensed its favors and prizes in a manner to at- 
tract the attention of the Law Officers of the Crown; but it 
continued more or less active until 19 13, when all trace of it 
disappeared. Pocock is described as an eager collector of 
"Johnsoniana" and his collection was sold at auction in Lon- 
don, in 1875. He lived until 1882. 


The special interest to us in this ms. of The Virtuosi lies 
in the possibility of its containing some entries concerning Smi- 
bert. He was certainly a member of a coterie of artists of that 
name; but The Virtuosi, or St. Luke's Club, of Van Dyck, 
may have been a different coterie from the club of Vertuosi, or 
a "group of Rosa-corosians " painted by Smibert. 

The Vertue papers, material collected by George Vertu 
(1684-1756) for a history of English artists, were purchased 
from his widow by Horace Walpole and formed the source of 
his Anecdotes of Painting in England. In his sketch of Smibert 
he acknowledges his indebtedness to the Vertue notes. In 
the sale of Walpole's collections, this Vertue material (Lot 
1 1 10, Eighth Day's Sale), in twenty-eight volumes, was pur- 
chased for £26.10 by "Thorpe," that is, by Dawson Turner. 
They are now in the British Museum. On folio 13 of Add. 
mss. 23,076 (Virtue's Collection) are found the notes on Smibert, 
now printed for the first time. A comparison with Walpole 
shows that Vertue did not carry his record as far as Smibert's 
leaving England in the Berkeley party. 

From Vertue's Notes. 1 

Mr. John Smybert first apprentice at Edenbourough servd 7 
years to a house painter and plaisterer. in all that time tho' he had 
a strong inclination to drawing and studying but no oppertunity 
to improve came to London, many difficulties to get into im- 
ployment first to coach painting, then coppying of paintings for 
dealers for 3 or 4 years yet never copyd any thing from the life, 
till he came to the accademy haveing never drawn from plaister. 
after this went to Edenborough there first tryd to paint faces, 
after came to London and set out to Italy, when he came to Flor- 
ence there from the great Duke's pictures he copyd several par- 
ticularly the Card. Bentivolio of Vandyke 2 and many other heads 
makeing that his whole study after Titian, Raphael, Rubens, etc. 
at Rome he painted several persons from the life. Naples, etc. 
at his return, already several good heads especially men. the 
Lord Carpenter in Arms 3^ length very well, an old Lady setting 
in a chair admirably well done, several other very good portraits 
one large peice being a Club of Virtuosi or a group of Rosa-corosians. 

1 B. M. Add. mss. 23,076, fol. 13, 18. 

2 This picture was given by John Trumbull, in 1791, to Harvard University. 

[c. h. h; 



in the large painting peice of the Virtuosi of London designed 
and begun by Mr. Smibert are the following persons: its divided 
into three groups in the Middle, Harvey, painter bald head. . . . 
Wotton . . . Gibson. 

on the left Keller setting at the Harpsicord. . . . Kinkead set- 
ting looking up backward. . . . Cope standing with a fiddle in his 
hand leaning. . . . Bar[nard] behind him. [Sketch of Picken] on 
the right side . . . Vertue holding a print. . . . Bird looking on. 
. . . Smybert behind and . . . Post pointing up. . . . Lens on 
the Easel a profile. 

Of the painters in these groups Walpole mentions John Woot- 
ton, Thomas Gibson, Ranelagh Barrett (?), Bernard Lens and 
John Smibert. 

Smibert to Sueton Grant. 1 

Boston, September 22, 1735 

Sir; I suppose your patience is quite tired in expecting your 
arms, etc — but it was impossible to send them sooner, the frame 
makers having so much work bespoke before, and being also not 
disposed to work any more than necessity forced, occasioned me to 
call upon them at least twenty times, before Mr. McSparran's 2 
frame and yours could be got from them, last week I put them on 
board a Connecticut Sloop bound for your Port, Capt Thorp, 
they are carefully packed up and the case is directed for you which 
I hope wil arive safe and be to your satisfaction. Mr. McSparran 
Picture is in the case which I desire you inform him of and 
the reason for its not being sent sooner, give my service to 

1 Contributed by Charles Henry Hart, from the Mason Collection. 
Sueton Grant came to America in 1725 and settled at Newport, R. I., as a 

merchant. He was a member of the Philosophical Society which Dean Berkeley 
established there in 1730, out of which ultimately grew the Redwood Library. 
He was killed by an explosion of gunpowder in 1 744. His wife's name was Tem- 
perance. A daughter, Jane, married in 1754 John Powell, and died in 1774 on 
Long Island, where she had been sent to be inoculated for the smallpox. An- 
other daughter, Mary, married (1) Andrew Heatley and (2) John Bell, a major in 
the British army. 

John Powell was a native of Rhode Island, and is stated to have removed with 
his children to England and died at Ludlow, in 1800, aged eighty- three. Mason, 
Annals of Trinity Church, Newport, 113W. He may have been John Powell, a 
merchant of Boston, loyalist. 

2 Smibert painted portraits of both James McSparran and his wife, Hannah, 
daughter of William Gardiner. These portraits were in the possession of Mrs. 
Romeo Elton, of Dorchester. 1 Mass. Hist. Soc. Proceedings, xvi. 397. 


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him and my respects to Mrs. Grant. I am Sir your most 
obedient Humble Servt, John Smibert. 

In the case is 

A Naval fight, Mantuanes l 0-16-6 

Scipio's Victory, C. Cort 2 0-11-0 

the Virgin, C. Moratt 3 0-16-0 

frames for ye above o- 6-0 

the Harlots Progres-Hogarth 1- 5-0 

the coat of arms 3~ °~° 

a gold frame for ditto 3-10-0 

a glas for ditto 0-10-0 

your half of the case cost o- 4-0 

£11- 6-6 
Received 10- 0-0 

Smibert to Arthur Pond 4 

Boston Jully 1st 1743 

Dear Sir; — I wrote you the 6th of May by Capt. Bonner and 
then troubled you with 2 Bills one on Messr; Tryons for £30 the 
other on Messr; Walter Hayter & Sons for £11 — the 2d Sett of 
which Bills are now inclosed as also a Bill of Lading for eight Guineas 
and twenty-five oz and a half of silver plate. I have for a long time 
intended to send for the pictures etc which my Nephew left with 
you, but delayed on act. of the War, which as there is no apearance 
of being over thinks it now best to have them over here again, for 
as you long ago wrote me you had sold none of them, nor thought 
it likely you should. I am in hopes I shal make something of them 
here so desires you wil order them to be carefully packed up in a 
good case and sent by the first opportunity for this Port and insure 
on the Virtu cargo for £150. I must further trouble you to buy me 
3 doz % Cloaths strained, and two whole Length Cloaths which 
pray order to be good and carefully rolled up and put in a case. 

1 Giovanni Batista Britano, called Mantuano (c. 1500). This plate is described 
as a "large naval Combat, from his own design, 1538." 

2 Cornelius Cort (1536-1578). The plate is better known as the "Battle of 
the Elephants," and was made from a picture by Raffaelle. 

8 Carlo Maratti (1625-1713). He made a set of ten plates of the life of the 
Virgin, from his own compositions. 

4 Supplied by Mr. Charles Henry Hart from his collection. This letter is sup- 
posed to be addressed to Arthur Pond, because of its reference to the " Knaptons." 
George Knap ton (1698-17 78) was a portrait painter of reputation and his brother 
Charles (1 700-1 760) was associated with Pond in the production of a volume of 
imitations of original drawings by the old masters, published in 1735. Dictionary 
of National Biography, xxxi. 236. 


Fann Paper ten Reams, this is an article which we shall probably 
want considerable of so would desire you to write the mans name 
you buy; and of and where he lives that we may send to him di- 
rectly without troubling you again, there are many women that 
paints Fanns for the country use and as they buy the Collours of 
us the paper has of late come naturaly in to be an article in the Shop. 
let it be of the sort comonly used for cheap Fanns and should be 
glad the man would Send a Sheet or 2 of the different sorts of paper 
with the prices. Lake of the comon midling sort about two Guineas 
and of good Lake about two Guineas more. Prussian Blew 50 
1 @ 2 shillings per pound. Do 6 1 @ 20 shill or a Guinea per pound. 
Do 6 1 @ 18 shill per pound, that may be had cheapest of the 
maker M Mitchell at Hoxton who you may send to by a peny 
post letter or a Porter, the old cups and spoons are a comision from 
my Wife who desires you wil be so good as to get her a Silver tea 
pott of the midle size but rather inclining to the Large and weighty, 
the fashion she Leaves intirely to you only would not have the top 
with hinges, but to take of. I have sent a Sketch of the Arms which 
I know you wil take care to get done by a good engraver with 
proper Ornaments. I do not expect the old silver wil pay for the 
tea pott which I would have a pretty one. what remains of the 
money after paying for those articles and al charges on Board 
please to lay out in gold leaf. 

I am sory the State of the Virtu is at so low an ebb. if the arts 
are about to leave Great Britain I wish they may take their flight 
into our new World that they may, at least remain in some part 
of the British dominions, remember me to al my old friends among 
the Painters. I would willingly have acknowledged your favours 
by something from this Country but can think of nothing worth 
sending that is our own produce, amongst the Pictures with you 
my Nephew tells me he thinks you used to like the Venus Nymphs 
etc by Poolenburgh. be so good as to accept of that picture to 
remember me by or any other of the pictures you like except the 
Scipio, and if there be any of the drawings that you fancy pray take 
them, when you write me let me know the State of Painting, who 
makes a figure and what eminent ones are gone of the Stage, as 
for my self I have as much as keeps me employed, has my health 
better than I could have expected, having near 3 years ago recov- 
ered from a dangerous ilnes, but thank God has had no return of 
it. I am happy in 4 clever Boys and lives as easily as my friend could 
wish me. the affairs of the shop with my Nephew goes on well, 
he joins me in respects to your Father and to Messr. Knaptons. 
I shal not make any further appollgys for the trouble now given 


you only asures you I wil not try your patience every year but 
only now and then. I am Sir your most obliged humble Sert. 

John Smibert. 

P.S. please to insure besides the £150 on the Pictures etc. at 
your house, £50 more for the money you lay out in al £200 I wish 
you could send 2 copies of a Pamphlet Published by A Millar en- 
titled as I remember the Apostles no Enthusiasts by — Campbell 
of St. Andrews. 1 

Smibert and Moffatt to Arthur Pond 2 

Boston, March 24, 1743/4. 

Dear Sir; I had the favour of yours by Capt. Anstill with the 
Virtu Cargo and bill, the other things in good order, for your 
care of which and present of the prints I am much your debtor. 
You know I was always fond of Landskips so that you could not 
have sent anything more to my taste and I assure you I esteem 
them as the finest Collection of Prints in that way I ever saw. the 
smal sett I have sold and desire you wil send 5 setts of the 7 num- 
bers on the smal paper which with the sett already received wil 
amount to eight guineas allowing the 20 per cent for those who sell 
them again, its probable more wil sell but we wil try them first, 
you may send one of every Print you do perhaps some of them may 
hit the General taste of this place. 

All the things you sent are good and bought well. The season 
for Fann painting is not yet come so there has been no opportunity 
to try the papers and mounts but no doubt they will answer. I 
now trouble you for some small matters to come with the Prints 
as by invoice anexed. to pay for these thing inclosed are a Bill for 
£12.12.0 on Fredk Frankland Esq and a Bill of Lading for some 
gold and silver as is specified in the Bill. We are very sorry for the 
los of Mr Charles Knapton 3 who was a worthy man. Your act. 
of the state of painting and the Painters with you shows a very 
fickle temper and is no recommendation of your great Town, as 
you do not mention the Lady's head after Titian to be amongst 
the Pictures stolen by the frame maker I hope you forgot to put it 

1 Archibald Campbell (1691-1756), professor of church history in St. Andrews. 
The tract, printed in 1730, was entitled: Discourse proving that the Apostles were no 

2 Contributed by Charles Henry Hart from the Dreer Collection in the Penn- 
sylvania Historical Society. The letter came from the collection of Lewis J. 
Cist, of Cincinnati. 

3 " If this Charles Knapton was the brother of George Knapton and was 
deceased in 1744, the date of his death as given by Redgrave, 1760, is erro- 
neous."— C. H. H. 


up with the others and that its stil at your house, if it is, be so good 
as send it with the things now wrote for. the tea pot is a mighty 
pretty one and so much liked that you [will] be troubled with my 
nephew's request for a friend. He joins with me in our Respects 
to your Father and al friends I am, Dear Sir your most obliged 
Humble Sert. 

John Smibert. 

Sir; — I hope youl excuse the trouble I now give you, occasioned 
by the Tea Pott you sent which is admired by all the Ladies and so 
much that in behalf of one of them (who I assure you has great 
merit) I must beg the favour of you to send such another one of the 
same fashion and size only the top to have a neat hinge, for the 
payment of it the silver is apropriated. if it should not be enough 
to pay it and engraving the arms according to the Sketch and 
Insurance do not let that prevent its being done in the same manner 
as the last desiring you wil forgive this freedom I am Sir Your 
most obliged humble sert. 

John Moffatt. 

half length Cloaths primed i doz 

kit kat do i doz J^ to be rolled up as the last 

Pallet knives i doz black lead pencils of different sizes about J^ a 

guineas' worth 
Black a more street pencils pointed about % a guineas worth, but 

no fitches 1 
Silver leaf six thousand it cost about 10 shil per thousand 
Prints 5 setts of the 7 numbers smal paper 
A set of ships published by Lempriere and sold by H. Toms 2 in 

Union court Holborn 
These ships I want sometimes for to be in a distant view in Por- 
traits of Merchts etc who chuse such, so if there be any better done 
since send them, but they must be in the modern construction, 
the last edition of Perspective commonly calld Pricks, 3 the rest of 
the money after paying for insurance (for tho of small value yet its 
best to be insured) and charges please to lay out in Post paper 4 
and a writting paper, called Pott paper 5 the article of paper wil 

1 A brush made of the hair of a fitchew or pole-cat. 

2 William Henry Toms, from whom John Boydell took lessons. 

3 Robert Pricke (fl. 1669-1698), engraver. The book wanted was Perspec- 
tive Practical, translated from the French of the Jesuit, J. Dubreuil, of which a 
second edition was published by Pricke in 1698. 

4 A size of writing paper, the half-sheet of which when folded forms the 
ordinary quarto letter paper. 

B So called from its original water-mark of a pot, and suited for printing or 
writing paper. 


be easy to you as you have ocasion for much, tho of another 


You wil please to send the above out by Capt. Jones on one of the 

first ship 
Coined silver sent 13 d 10 dwt 
Old Plate 14 2 

Gold 4 Pistol piece 17-8 gram 
Coined gold £4, 13, o. 

Smibert to Arthur Pond. 1 

Boston, N. E., march 15 1744/5. 

Dear Sir, — I had the favour of yours by Capt. Carrey with the 
cargo in good order, for your care of which and present of the 
Prints I am much obliged, the View from Greenwich and Anti- 
quities by P. Panini 2 please more here then the others and I hope 
some number of them wil sell, last August I wrote you and inclosed 
a Bill for £8.8.0 on Mr. Elliakim Palmer to be laid out chiefly in 
Fann mounts, but I hear the Vessel was taken and caried into 
France I now inclose you the 2d. of that Bill with one for £18 
on messrs. Samuell and Wm. Baker, which I must trouble you to 
lay out by the invoice anexed to be sent by the first opportunity 
and insured. 

at present here is litle talked or thought of but war, our forces 
are imbarking for Cape Bretton, four Vessels of force are sailed to 
ly off Lewisbourg harbour to prevent any succours or provisions 
going in. this Expedition is a great undertaking for this Country 
if it succeeds wil be of great importance and be a terible blow to 
France as it wil effectualy destroy their fishery and make the 
navigation to Canada very dangerous, but if it dos not succeed 
we shal be almost undone here, for our best men, the flower of the 
Country are going and the expence wil be a prodigious sum of 
money, which if we are not assisted in the charges of it from home 
must ruin this Province, but I hope we shal not be deserted by our 
Mother Country, my Nephew thanks you for the care of his 
Commission which pleases much, our respects to your Father. 
I am Sir your most obliged humble Sert. 

John Smibert. 

This comes by the Elthan man of war, who convoys the mast 
Ships, there has been an Embargo here for more then 6 weeks and 
stil continues. 

1 Contributed by Guernsey Jones, from B. M. Add. mss. 23,725, fol. 3-4. 

2 Giovanni Paolo Pannini (1691-1758). 


Gold leaf 3000 

Views of Greenwich and antiquities P. Panini a doz of each 

% Cloaths 1 doz Dark Prussn : Blew 3 1 about 18 or 20 Shill 
per 1 

Fann mounts 1 doz @ 8 shill. 3 doz Do @ 4/6 20 doz do 

40 doz @ 1 Shill. and about 10 or 15 Shill. worth of coloured 
prints slight and cheap for Jappaning. please to advise of the 
Price of Franckfort black by the hundred, and send a speci- 
men of fann mounts printed but not coloured of the cheapest 

To M r Arthur Pond Painter in great Queen Street Lincolns inn fields London. 

Smibert to Arthur Pond. 1 

Boston April 6th 1749 

Dear Sir, — The first of last moneth I wrote you and inclosed 
two Bills of Exchange one for £15 on Mr. Bethel the other for £33 
on Mr. Partridge and now inclose you the 2d of each of those Bills 
and the first of another for £15 on Mr. Bethel making in al £63.00 
which I must trouble you to lay out in the underwritten articles and 
to get the Cargoe insured. I hope you have received the first letter 
where in the Prussian Blew was desired to be got ready, but in case 
you have not and can not soon get the sorts wrote for, desires you 
wil take what sorts there is ready that you like best your self, 
for as several of the articles are much wanted would be glad to have 
them sent by the first vessel, the last things you sent came safe 
but received no Letter. 

I'm ashamed to give you so much trouble, but you have encour- 
aged me and there is none of my friends so well acquainted with the 
people who deal in those articles, as for my self I need not tell you 
that I grow old, my eyes has been some time failling me, but is 
[I'm] stil heart whole and hath been diverting my self with some- 
things in the Landskip way which you know I always liked. I had 
latley a present of a Cast of the modell for Shakespears Monument 
from my friend Mr. Schymaker 2 which pleases me much, when you 
see him please to make my Compliments to him, and to Mr. Gib- 
son 3 of whose welfare I should be glad to know, if you have got the 
litle Picture of Mischan and the Lady after Titian back again 
(for I think you wrote you had lent them) should be glad you sent 

1 Contributed by Guernsey Jones, from B. M. Add. mss. 23, 725, fol. 5. 

2 Peter Scheemakers (1691-1770), sculptor. A Shakespeare statue by him 
is in Westminster Abbey. 

3 Thomas Gibson (i68o?-i75i), portrait painter. 


them with this Cargoe. my Nephew sends his service to you, with 
our services to your Father I am Sir your most obliged humble 

John Smibert. 

Prussian Blew 1 @ 18 or 20 Shill 

Do 6 1 @ 12 or 15 Shill 

Do 10 1 @ 8/or 9 Shill 

Do 20 1 @ 4/or 5 Shill 

Pallet and Stone Knives 1 doz of each 

Brown Pink 3^2 I- 

Carmine 1 oz 

gold leaf three thousand 1 Please to direct that the gold and 

silver Do 4000 [ silver leaf be carefuly done up in a 

J box by it self. 

% Primed Cloaths 3 doz 

Kit Kats 1 doz 

3/£ Lengths 2 doz 

2 gold frames for 2 Pictures 20 inches by 14 inches and a half, 
the pictures are not extraordinary, so would not go higher then 12 
or 15 Shill. apiece, a French Bible a good Edition and neatly 
bound, this is for my second Son a present from my Nephew whose 
favourite he is. 

Red chalk 1 1 

Pencils (black a more Street) in Sorts 20 Shil. value 

Brushes or tools for Portraits 20 Shil. value 

Fann papers 5 groce @ 5/6 

200 doz black and white mounts @ 8 d per doz 

50 doz Colloured mounts at one Shil. per doz 

50 doz Do @ one Shill and six pence per Doz 

10 doz Do @ 2 or 3 Shill per Doz 

10 doz Do @ 4 or 5 Shil. per Doz 

2 doz Do @ 6 or 8 Shill. per Doz 

1 doz Do @ 10 Shil. per Doz 

Black and white mounts 20 Doz @ one Shil per doz 

Do 10 doz @ one Shill. and Sixpence 

Purple and white mounts 20 doz @ one Shil. per doz 

Do 10 doz @ one shill. and six pence per doz 

Silver paper 1 Doz @ 3 Shill. 

Do 1 Doz @ 4 Shill. 

Black mounts for mourning smal paper 20 doz and 20 doz larger 
paper Do we know not the Price of the black mounts but supposes 
the smal paper may be a Shilling a dozen and the larger eighteen 
pence a doz. 



John Moffatt to Arthur Pond. 1 

Boston, New England, Dec'r 28th, 1752. 

Sir, — No doubt you have long ago heard of the Death of Mr. Smi- 
bert, and which I ought to have acquainted you of before now, as I 
know the regard you had for him and the obligations we are under to 
you. He had been for many years in a Declining State of health, and 
for some years unable to paint at al, but to the last preserved his 
cheerfulnes and serenity of temper, free from al uneasines and happy 
in his family. He has left a Widow and three sons, 2 the eldest is ap- 
prentice to a Merchant, the second inclines to Painting and seems to 
me of a Promising Genius, the youngest is at the Gramar School. My 
Honest Uncle never was rich, but Lived always handsomely and with 
great reputation. He hath left eneugh I hope with prudent manage- 
ment to put his Children in the way of doing well in the world and 
which you may easily think I am not unconcerned about. 

A friend here who valued Mr. Smibert much, has wrote a Char- 
acter or Epita[p] h to be put on the Tomb. I have sent you a Copy 
of it for your opinion and your friends, it wil apear too long and per- 
haps might be shortned to advantage. .1 shal be glad of your opinion 
of it and would aquaint you that ever since Mr. Smibert died I have 
intended something should be erected to his memory, the tomb Joins 
to a wall which wil admit of but a smal monument, the measure of 
which wil now be sent. Mr. Scheemaker was Mr. Smibert's friend and 
therefore the properest person to apply to, what I would desire to be 
done, is the Inscription on Marble with some litle ornament as you 
and Mr. Scheemaker shal think best, if it can be done for about 
twenty Guineas and should be glad of two or three diferent drawings 
that we might choose from, what pleases best here. I am a stranger 
to the expence of marble monuments but as this is only the marble 
with the writting and some litle ornament, perhaps it may be done 
for near that money, however I am forced to take the freedom to 
trouble you in this affair for there are none of Mr. Smiberts friends 
who can so well direct me in this affair as you and I suppose you are 
no stranger to Mr. Sheemaker but must be aquainted with him. 

I am ashamed further to trouble you with the inclosed Bills of Ex- 
change one for fifty and the other for twenty Pounds, to lay out in 
sundry articles as per Invoice anexed, the remittance is made the 
larger that we may not soon give you the like trouble. My Aunt and 
I Jointly cary on the Collour busines and every thing goes on as in my 

1 From the Chamberlain Collection (F. 4, 7), Boston Public Library. This 
letter, and the epitaph which follows, were in the collection of Dawson Turner, in 
1859, and were priced at 105. 6d. in the sale catalogue. 

2 1 Proceedings, ix. 208. 


Uncles life time. Gratitude obliges me to do al I can for the interest 
of so worthy a Persons familly as wel as the nearnes of my Relation, 
if this Commission could be made easier to you for the future by ap- 
plying to the Fann man and some of the other people directly, you 
wil please to direct me, the Bill for fifty pounds is drawn by so good a 
man as that its certain wil be duly honoured, nor do I doubt the other 
Bill being so too, but in case that should be protested must desire you 
to get the whole of the Fann Mounts sent and the remainder in Prus- 
sian Blew, for as we are near out of Fann mounts it would be of great 
advantage could you favour us with them by the first ship after you 
receive the money, and let the whole value be insured. I wish the 
taste here was good eneough for the Prints of your Landskips, etc. 
but there are few Virtuosi here, the Roman Ruins pleases and now and 
then there are a Customer for them. Mrs. Smibert with Her Sons 
Joins me in their Respects to you. I shal be obliged for your ordering 
the cargo particularly the Fan mounts as soon as possible. I am with 
the greatest respect Sir, your most obliged Humble Ser't, 

John Moffatt. 

one Bill of Exch. drawn by Peter Bulkeley on Christopher 

Kilby Esqr. for 20.0.0 

one Do. drawn by John Erving Esqr. on Mr. William 

Hodshon for 50.0.0 

Sterling £70.0.0 
Invoice of the particulars, the above Bills are desired to be laid 
out in and marked S. M. No. 

Ordinary white Fan mounts 5 groce @ 5/6 

Plain printed mounts 16 groce ©8/ 

Colloured mounts 8 groce @ 12/ 

Do. 8 groce @ 18/ 

Colloured mounts and guilt 1 groce © 30/ 

Do. 1 groce @ 36/ 

Do. 6 doz @ 6/ 

Do. 2 doz @ 10/ ^ 

Do. 2 doz @ 12/ 00 

Black and white mounts 1 groce @ 12/ JjJ. 

Do. 2 groce © 18/ "° 

Do. 1 groce @ 24/ 

Purple and white Mounts 1 groce ©12/ 

Do. 2 groce @ 18/ 

Do. 1 groce ...... @ 24/ 

Black mounts 3 groce ©12/ @ 12/ 

Do. 1 groce @ 18/ 

Childrens mounts Colloured 3 groce about 8/ or 9/ 

1 This total is in another writing, probably that of Pond. 


the 4 Prints of the Roman Buildings and Ruins by Panini twelve 
of each print. 

Prussian Blew 6 1. about 18/ or 20/ per pound 

Carmine 1 oz 

Stone knives 1 doz. 

Pallet Do. 1 doz. 

Black Lead pencils 6 doz chiefly large sort 

% /i Primed Cloaths 3 doz 

Kitkat Do. 1 doz 

Y2 Length do. 1 doz 

Gold leaf 2000 and some gold Beatters skin. 

Crayons to the value of a Guinea 

Black chalk and some French Chalk about 5/ or 6/ worth 

If there should not be Fan mounts exactly of the above prices, 
please to do what you think best, only that they be near the above 
prices, what is now wrote for wil I imagine, with the Insurance, Cases 
and snipping Charges etc. be near about the £70.0.0 now remitted, 
if there by any Left it may be laid out in gold leaf, Pruss. Blew or 
the plain printed mounts, either of them as wil be the least trouble. 

The Tomb Joins to the Brick wal of the Burying ground and wil ad- 
mit a monument of a litle more then 5 foot wide, but as the wal is but 
Low I belive 5 foot wide wil be sufficient to alow for a proper heighth. 1 
the Inscription wil require a large piece of Marble and that is what I 
principaly regard, as for any show I would avoid it and desire what 
litle ornaments can be afforded be in the plain and good taste, which 
you wil please to direct Mr. Scheemaker, and to favour us with 2 or 3 
sketches with the Estimate of the charge, that so we may choose 

1 Mr. Frederick L. Gay writes: 

" There is little doubt that Smibert was buried in the tomb of his father-in-law 
Dr. Nathaniel Williams, which 'joins to a wall.' The tomb is numbered 62 in 
the Granary Burying Ground. See Boston Record Commissioners Report, xiii. 
185. The tomb is located in the Tremont Street range, and is the third to the 
right of the gate as you enter the Ground. It is now marked by a stone bearing 
the inscription 'Thomas & John Bradlee'[s] Tomb 1816.'" 

"On Tuesday last died here, much lamented, Mr. John Smibert, well known 
for many fine Pictures he has done here, and celebrated in Italy, as well as Britain, 
for a good Painter, by the best Judges. As a Member of Society, he was a 
valuable Gentleman, of a happy Temper, great Humanity and Friendship, a 
kind Husband, tender Father, and steady Friend: But what is above all, an ex- 
emplary Christian, eminently so in Patience and constant Resignation to the 
Will of God. And on Friday was decently inter'd." Boston Gazette, Tuesday, 
April 9, 1 751. A similar notice, almost identical in wording, appeared in the 
Boston Evening Post, of Monday, April 8 1751; and the Boston Post-Boy, for 
Monday, April 8, 1751, contained only a brief note: "Last Tuesday died here 
Mr. John Smibert, an ingenious and celebrated Painter in this Town." 


what wil please best here. Mr. Smibert had a great friendship for 
Mr. Scheemaker to whom please to give my service. I doubt not but 
He wil readily do what is in his power to the memory of the Deceased. 

Epitaph. 1 
Quis Desiderio sit Pudor, aut modus 
Tarn Chari Capitis? Hon 2 

In Tumulo hocce contiguo Conditur quicquid caducum et mortale 
habuit, Vir Optimus Joannes Smibert Pictor celeberrimus cujus 
in Arte sua Laudes debitas, etiam Italia, picturse alma Nutrix, 
olim agnovit. In Britannia vero, Superiorem haud temere in- 
venies, iEquales minime multos. Quid mirum, igitur, si in America, 
quam, Salutis gratia, Natali praetulit solo, ne vel ^Emulum invenit 
aut reliquit: Quorum argumenta praebebunt diutina, ex Sententia 
optimorum Judicum, Imagines plurimae, multa cum Arte et Scien- 
tia, Manu sua eleganter depictae. 

Sed quanta quanta sit haec ejus Laus, opposita tamen Moribus 
suis eximiis, prope nulla est. In his enim colendis maxime studium 
Operamque fceliciter collocavit, Qui in omni Vitae Statu verae et 
infucatag Virtutis Examplar edidit. Hominum nempe, Communi- 
tatis, Membrum inprimis dignum, si quidem hoc efficitur, Vitae, 
Solertia, Integritate immaculata, Indole placida, benigna et humana, 
una, cum Morum Facilitate et Simplicitate jucunda atque ingenua. 
Maritus, Parens, amantissimus; omciorum in suos quosque Ob- 
servantissimus; Amicus, porro; sincere Benevolus, Fidus, Con- 
stans Coronidis, denique loco, Is, cujus universa Vita prasdicabat. 
Animum intime imbutum Reverentia et Chari tate in DEUM 
O.M. Cujus Cultor assiduus devotissimusque extitit, nee non 
Vera Fide et spe Vivida in Christum Jesum: Quibus Animam 
piam Suffultus, Deo, qui dedit, Tranquillus et Laetus, reddidit, 
IV.° Non: Aprilis, Anno .Erae Christianas Vulgaris M,DCC,LI. 

Natus erat Edingburgi, Britannorum Septentrionalium IX.° 
Kal. Aprilis Anno M,DC,LXXX,VIII, Parentibus honestis 
Oriundus. Uxorem, quam charam semper habuit, utpote vere 
piam et amandam, nunc, proh dolor! viduam maerentem, duxit 
III.° Kal. Augusti, Anno M,DCC,XXX, Mariam, Filiam natu 
maximam Reverendi Doctique Viri, olim Vita functi, Nathanaelis 
Williams, Bostoniensis: Cujus Conjugii Proven tus Septem Filii, 
duaequae Filise, quorum Filii quatuor, duaeque Filiae, in eodem cum 
Patre requiescunt Tumulo; Caeteri supersunt. 

Lector, si Talem amare et imitari possis, Beatus evades. 3 

1 From the Chamberlain Collection, Boston Public Library. 2 Carmina, I. xxiv. 
3 Contributed by Guernsey Jones, from B. M. Add. mss. 23,725, fol. 49-50. 


John Moffatt to Arthur Pond's Executors. 1 

Boston New England Jully 2 a 1759 

Gentlemen, — I latley Saw an advertisement in a London news 
paper of the Sale of Mr. Ponds Collection by Order of His Execu- 

Mr. Ponds death gives me much concern as I am under great 
obligations and have received many favours from him. but I 
should not have troubled you with a Letter were it not on account 
of Some goods He was to Ship for me. The state of the affair is 
Just this. Deer. 15th 1756 I wrote Mr Pond and inclosed a Bill 
of Exch. for £60.0.0 Sterling and febr. 10th 1757 I again wrote him 
with a Copy of the articles wrote for and the 2d. of the Bill and no 
doubt you wil find those Letters amongst his papers. Mr Pond 
favoured me with an answer dated may 10th 1757 a Copy of which 
is here unto anexed by which you wil see he did not mention in 
what Ship the other half of the goods were to be sent and as I never 
heard further from him, concludes the Ship must either have been 
taken or Lost, now as you have the Pollicy it wil be easy to know 
by what Ship and if either taken or Lost there can be no difficulty 
in getting the Insurance paid, this is the reason of writting you 
Gentn desiring you wil be so kind as to receive the Insurance for 
me as you have the Pollicy, the Bearer Mr James Erving of this 
place wil be very ready to Assist in the affair and when you have 
received the money, please to pay it to Mr Erving who wil pay 
the charges arissing and give you the proper discharge. I must 
desire another favour more and that is to let Mr Erving know of 
whom Mr Pond used to buy the Fann mounts for I have given Mr 
Erving a Commission to get me a parcel of the same person if you 
can direct him to the man. I hope you wil excuse this trouble and 
if ever it is in my Power to do any Service for any of Mr Ponds 
friends in this part of the World it would give a Singular Satisfac- 
tion to Gentlemen your most obedient Humble Sert. 

John Moffatt. 

P.S. The goods by Capt. Jacocks came Safe. 

To the Executtors of the Will 
of the Late Mr Arthur Pond 
in London. 

Copy of Arthur Pond's Letter. 

London, may 10, 1757. 
Sir, — your Letter of the 15th. Deer, came to my hands the 
latter end of february, and I have this day sent the two boxes to 
1 Contributed by Guernsey Jones, from B. M. Add. mss. 23,725, fol. 49-50. 


be shiped in two different Ships being the last which go this Spring, 
you have only one Sort of Prussian Blew of a fine deep Sort and I 
could now [not] get any other I liked ready made; I could not 
under a fortnight get any flake white, without going to the Collour 
Shops, who sell it dear, but have sent one pound for the present, 
many things are so dear on account of the war and the Insurance so 
high Your money is all laid out, if you want more of any of the 
articles I shal get them on your Order, not knowing where directly 
to get any Indian Ink at a good .hand, have put up one Stick of 
my own which desire you to accept of. 

I am Sir your most humble Sert. ^ RT p 0ND 

Some of the things I divided by Gues Consequently not exactly 

Porter and Shipping last Cargoe Six shillings 

remained in my hands 0-14-9 

A Bill now Sent 60- 0-0 


the word Painter is not necessary in my direction, and I may leave 
[it] off. 

Fann Mounts 38-15-0 

Carmine one oz very fine 1- 1 

two doz stone knives 1- 4-0 

one doz pallet knives o- 6-0 

four pounds fine Prussn. Blew 18/ 3-12-0 

two pounds English Safron 1-14-0 ^-8 

one pound flake white 0-1-4 o- 1-4 

one pound French Sap Green 0-13 

one pound Distiled Verdigrees 0-15 

Boxes, Porter and packing 0-14-6 

part of the Insurance to be returned if with Convoy 
Insurance on two pollicys 9-18-0 

Ballance 6-11 

Shipping charges to be paid 

the above Letter directed 
To Mr John Moffatt Boston New England 

By the Devonshire Capt. Jacocks 

[Endorsed] 24th. Augst. 1759 reced from 

Mr James Urwin Merchant at New England Coffee House. 



Remarks were made during the meeting by Messrs. Nor- 
cross, Lord, Bowditch, Green and Sanborn. 

Note. On the "Scipio" mentioned, page 28, supra, Mr. Frederic L. Gay calls 
my attention to the following extract from Hamilton's Itinerarium (p. 139) : 

July 24, 1744. "I went this night to visit Mr. Smibert, the limner, where I 
saw a collection of fine pictures, among the rest that part of Scipio's history in 
Spain where he delivers the lady to the prince to whom she had been betrothed. 
The passions are well touched in the several faces. Scipio's face expresses a ma- 
jestic generosity, that of the young prince gratitude and modest love; and some 
Roman soldiers, standing under a row of pillars apart, in seeming discourse, have 
admiration delineated in their faces. But what I admired most of the painter's 
fancy in this piece is an image of phantom of chastity behind the solium upon 
which Scipio sits, standing on tiptoe to crown him, and yet appears as if she could 
not reach his head, which expresses a good emblem of the virtue of this action. 
I saw here likewise a collection of good busts and statues, most of them antiques, 
done in clay and paste, among the rest Homer's head and a model of the Venus 
of Medicis." On August 9, Hamilton again visited Smibert in the afternoon, 
"and entertained myself an hour or two with his paintings." 






William Everett was born in Water town, Massachusetts, 
October 10, 1839. He was the third son of the famous Edward 
Everett, orator and statesman, and of Charlotte Gray (Brooks) 
Everett, his wife. 

Edward Everett, the father, was one of the most illustrious 
and influential Americans of the nineteenth century in his 
generation, and from early manhood to the day of his death 
maintained a conspicuousness, whether in public or private 
station, such as few contemporaries ever reached or ap- 
proached. Yet, to this day, no authentic biography of the 
man has ever issued from the press, nor has any collection of 
his writings been made, except four volumes of his chief 
orations which were published during his lifetime. These 
orations were mostly of the occasional and academic sort and 
do not identify him greatly with public activities. Yet by 
speech or writing he was a constant inspiration to his fellow- 
countrymen, besides receiving at various times the highest 
public honors that his native state or the nation could confer, 
short of that Presidency, which comes to but few and only 
as the gift of the whole people. 

William, as Edward Everett's youngest son, was the object 
of a prime paternal solicitude during his whole childhood, his 
mother having become a confirmed invalid for the rest of her 
life. Father and son grew close together in affectionate inti- 
macy, and William, as a youth, learned to emulate his father's 
high career and example. He showed a precocious intellect 
and an astonishing memory, imbibing early a fondness for the 



classics of Greece and Rome, and for English and American 
political history. It has been well said that the one love of 
Edward Everett was for his son William, and that William's 
cherished ideal through life was his father. 

When first at the Boston Latin School, William excelled the 
boys of older classes in capping verses from Virgil. But he 
was wisely kept from entering college until his sixteenth year, 
so that in Harvard's class of 1859 which he joined were many 
fellow students of about his own age. Here, though recog- 
nized as brilliant and versatile, he by no means led his class- 
mates either in scholarship or a forceful personality. Pure in 
morals, however, upright and conscientious in conduct, he 
was doubtless influenced for good by his elderly roommate and 
life-long friend, Alexander McKenzie. 1 When visiting other 
classmates in their rooms socially he liked an improvised con- 
test in light witticism or the citation of authors. He wrote 
well both in prose and poetry for the college magazine, he 
worked out such mimic parts as were assigned to him in class 
entertainments with much drollery and originality and he 
prepared an excellent ode for our class supper. Though slight 
of build and taking but little interest in the desultory college 
athletics of that day, he showed himself a good runner about 
Harvard's delta. He held a high rank in his studies, but by 
no means as high as might have been expected of him, for he 
lacked at this time diligence and application. His commence- 
ment part, on Athens as the great teacher of mankind — a 
most congenial theme — was well written and he delivered it 
with fervor and bold gesticulation. On the whole, William 
Everett was a youth still undeveloped while at college, and some 
personal habits of the juvenile sort which clung to him hindered 
the estimation of his classmates, who nevertheless took great 
pride in his brilliant promise. 

New and invigorating impulse was given to this young man's 
rise in life when, upon his graduation at Harvard in 1859, he 
was sent abroad to Cambridge, England, to complete his 
studies. There he greatly broadened as an accomplished 
classical scholar, in the course of another four years, while 
among English scenes and acquaintances he gained a sort of 
international experience and range of friendships which con- 
1 See Proceedings, xliii. 414-417. 


firmed him strongly in self-confidence and mental equipment 
for a distinguished career in his native land. Graduating in 
England from Trinity College in 1863, he returned to Boston, 
a young man widely heralded for fame and influence. 

William Everett's ambition, at this time young and ardent, 
was unquestionably to follow in his eminent father's foot- 
steps, as a statesman and orator, with the subsidiary adorn- 
ment, likewise, of an accomplished scholar. A course of 
lectures upon English university life which he delivered at 
the Lowell Institute, a few months after his return, and 
presently published in a book, "On the Cam," gave him a 
speedy renown in this vicinity. 1 Eager to connect himself, 
first of all, with the instruction corps of Harvard University, 
like his father before him, he had already, in July, 1863, applied 
to President Hill, though unsuccessfully, for appointment to 
a vacant tutorship in mathematics. He next studied law and 
was admitted to the Boston bar in April, 1867, but never prac- 
tised the profession. 

His distinguished father dying in January, 1865, shortly 
before our Civil War came to an end, William was left fairly 
independent in means for pursuing his own plans in life, but 
without that elderly guidance which had been a most salutary 
support. His efforts for conspicuous fame and influence be- 
came somewhat diffuse, in consequence, where concentration 
of pursuit would have served him better. Always sincere and 
frank, and ready, moreover, to initiate for himself, he dis- 
closed too openly for his own good at this stage of manhood 
whatever plans he might cherish in one direction or another. 
Hence rivals and personal enemies sprang up in every chosen 
path to oppose or thwart his purpose. Yet his energy, per- 
sistency and varied talents could by no means fail of making 
a public impression. His college essays were now issued in 
book form. A ready writer, witty or serious, both in prose 
and verse, he contributed much to the political and literary 
press, and to children's magazines besides. He gave lyceum 
lectures in and out of Massachusetts. He read a well-prepared 
poem before the Phi Beta Kappa Society at Cambridge, 
which was afterwards published. 2 In 1864 he spoke by invi- 

1 See Proceedings, xliii. 420. 

2 Hesione, or Europe Unchained (1869). 


tation at the Unitarian festival in Boston and also at a 
Republican flag raising. As a bachelor he took up his legal resi- 
dence in Winchester, where his father had once lived, joined 
a local Grant club in 1868, and sought, though in vain, to be 
chosen from that town to the Massachusetts legislature. Books 
and memorials from his father's estate he liberally bestowed in 
various directions. In May, 1869, he made application for 
appointment to a Latin Tutorship in Harvard University. 1 

Mr. Eliot became President of Harvard on the 19th of May, 
1869; and, within a year, William Everett was appointed a 
University Lecturer on "Virgil and his place in Literature," 
and Tutor in Latin. Sailing for England in the summer of 
1869, he procured from Cambridge University there his course 
degree as Master of Arts. 

In 1873 Everett was promoted to an assistant professorship 
of Latin. The young man took up zealously the new duties 
of classical instruction with his alma mater and was thus 
actively occupied for about six years. Ambitious of a suitable 
academic title, he prepared in 1875 a classical thesis, and upon 
special examination was made by Harvard a Doctor of Phi- 
losophy in course: whence the title of "Doctor," by which he 
became commonly addressed for the rest of his life. 

By no means content, however, to pursue for life the simple 
routine of a college professor, William Everett bestirred him- 
self in these busy years in other directions. Shortly before 
beginning work as a tutor in 1870 he had delivered to good ac- 
ceptance the Fourth of July oration in the city of Boston. In 

1 The Committee of Publication add the following account which was cour- 
teously written by President Eliot: 

"In March Mr. Eliot had been elected by the President and Fellows of Har- 
vard College to the office of President; but this nomination had been returned to 
the President and Fellows by the Board of Overseers without approval. After a 
good deal of private and public discussion, in early May the rumor ran that the 
President and Fellows had been advised by a well-informed friend of the Uni- 
versity that, if they should return to the Board of Overseers the nomination of 
Mr. Eliot, it would probably be confirmed. When Mr. Eliot returned, late one 
afternoon, to the house on Chestnut Street, Boston, where he was then living, he 
found William Everett waiting for him; and Everett at once entered upon his 
business. He declared that Mr. Eliot was not at all his candidate for the Presi- 
dency of Harvard; that his candidate was the Rev. Edward Everett Hale; but 
Everett went on to say, ' I am told that the Overseers may consent, after all, to 
your election as President; so I want to apply now for a position as Tutor in 
Latin, whenever there is a chance for me.'" 


1872 he further sought and procured from the Boston Minis- 
ters' Association (Unitarian) a license to preach, so that for the 
rest of his life he occasionally supplied the pulpit in churches 
of his faith in different parts of the country. For the pastoral 
duties of a sacred calling William Everett was never tested, 
but his sermons were found thrilling, eloquent and forcible, and 
one upon " Socrates and Jesus" which got into print was es- 
pecially liked. As a preacher he made a good impression upon 
his hearers. He was considered for a colleague at Brattle 
Square Church about 1874 during its last crisis of existence, 
and he received a call to the Harvard Church in Charlestown 
in 1875, which, upon consultation, he concluded to decline. 

Everett's interest in his own college classes was always deep 
and genuine. But friction ensued in his relations with other 
Harvard professors; for he never could cooperate patiently as 
a subordinate, and subordination was sometimes necessary. 
He refused to take up some special work assigned him in 
an emergency. President Eliot, in fact, doubted the expe- 
diency of adding Sunday labors to the hard work of an 
assistant professor of Latin six days in the week. By 1876, 
in a notable presidential struggle, it appeared that this eager 
assistant professor purposed entering politics. In 1877, be- 
fore the expiration of the usual term of five years, Everett 
resigned his assistant professorship. 1 

1 President Eliot furnishes the Committee of Publication with the following 
account of his resignation: 

"In the middle of the term, Professor Lane, the head of the Latin Department, 
fell ill. It was very desirable that the two courses of instruction he was giving 
should not be interrupted. One of them could be conveniently combined with a 
course which Assistant Professor Everett was already giving; the other, that on 
Plautus, Lucretius, Cicero, and Catullus, would have to be conducted by a sub- 
stitute for several weeks. Assistant Professor Everett was freer to undertake that 
work than either of the other two assistant professors. President Eliot, therefore, 
requested Everett to replace Professor Lane immediately in that course which 
was attended by a considerable number of Juniors and Seniors. Everett at once 
protested that he was not competent to replace Professor Lane in that course; 
but, when the President insisted that he was the most available member of the 
department under the circumstances, Everett consented. Professor Lane was 
incapacitated for nearly four weeks. At the end of his service as substitute, 
Everett came to the President's office, and said, ' I told you, Mr. President, that 
I was incompetent to take that class in place of Professor Lane. I have demon- 
strated the truth of that proposition, as you may learn from any member of the 
class that you may invite to testify; and, moreover, I have learnt that I am not 
fit to be a Professor of Latin in Harvard University, and never shall be.' He was 


Doubtless it was with a feeling of relief on both sides that 
by 1877 Dr. Everett severed connection with his alma mater 
to become in 1878 the head master of Adams Academy. 

This academy had lately been opened in Quincy on the basis 
of an endowment created early in the century under the will 
of John Adams, our second President of the United States. It 
had the equipment of a fine stone building, but depended largely 
for its annual income upon the tuition fees of private pupils 
who fitted there for college. Dr. Everett was now its second 
head master in succession, and he became most closely and 
permanently identified with its fortunes. To this institution 
and its work he mostly devoted himself with earnestness and 
industry for the rest of his life, and yet not, perhaps, with as 
close and undivided an attention as its welfare desired and 
deserved. Here, at all events, his work was his own and free 
from all immediate supervision. He proved himself a great 
teacher, as many of his students have testified. They won his 
strong affection and he theirs. He preached to them, besides 
giving routine instruction, and a volume of his " School Ser- 
mons," published presently, gave inspiration to many teachers 
and pupils elsewhere. 

But Dr. Everett's heart was too much set upon publicity and 
public influence for him to confine himself to any routine of 
secluded work. He neglected the grand opportunity now 
afforded him to concentrate his leisure time upon some con- 
tinuous task, and most of all upon the much needed and long 
projected biography of his father, for which he had been col- 
lecting material. Besides taking a prominent part in teachers' 
conventions and making many wise suggestions concerning the 
education of youth, he would still preach or deliver an oc- 
casional address by way of variety. In 1880 he composed a 
poem on the two hundred and fiftieth anniversary of the found- 
ing of Cambridge, for which he received the thanks of the city 
government. He wrote hymns for a religious collection; and 
by 1882, while in the midst of school duties, he became drawn 

right, if exact philological knowledge were necessary for a Professor of Latin in 
Harvard University; effacing for the moment his remarkable knowledge of Latin 
literature, this voluntary communication of his diagnosis of his own case to the 
President of the University illustrates forcibly the essential modesty of Everett's 
nature, in spite of the superficial conceit which was sometimes obtrusively 


into national politics closer and closer until, as he would ex- 
press himself, it became "the breath of his nostrils." 

The national cause of civil-service reform now engaged our 
fellow-member's zeal, and, beginning his political course in 
earnest as an independent Republican, he espoused actively 
the cause and candidates of the national Democracy. In a 
Quincy speech, made during the autumn of 1882, he violently 
attacked the record of the Republican candidate who stood for 
a reelection in that congressional district. By no means in 
favor of General Butler, who gained on this canvass an election 
as governor of Massachusetts, he refused in an open letter an in- 
vitation to the Plymouth celebration of December because that 
governor-elect would be there. In the presidential campaign of 
1884 he took a still more zealous part, making eloquent and 
effective speeches for Cleveland in more than one state and run- 
ning for Congress in his home district on the anti-Blaine ticket, 
but failing of success. He gloried now in the name of " mug- 
wump," whose claims he humorously upheld in both prose and 
verse. By this time he had become widely renowned as an effec- 
tive speaker at political gatherings, rattling, vigorous, frank and 
witty, having an incisive style and manner peculiarly his own. 

Yet our head master varied still in the place and theme of 
his eloquence. He would as before attend teachers' conven- 
tions and preach at church on an occasional Sunday. In 1885 
he delivered the Fourth of July oration at Quincy. Once 
in 1886 he preached at Harvard's college chapel. In 1887 
he delivered a memorial address on the great statesman, 
his kinsman, lately deceased, Charles Francis Adams. In 1889 
he accepted an invitation to Winchester as the Fourth of July 
orator. That same year he stood in Quincy for the Massachu- 
setts senate on an anti-Harrison ticket, but his Republican 
adversary won at the polls. 

By this time bold and aggressive in politics and well known 
as an effective partisan and speaker for the independent Demo- 
crats, Dr. Everett, in the congressional campaign of 1890, 
went outside his home environment altogether, where Re- 
publicanism appeared too strongly intrenched, and undertook 
to capture the seventh or Essex district of the state, having 
accepted a non-resident nomination from the Democrats. His 
canvass there was vigorous and courageous, his Republican 



opponent being Henry Cabot Lodge. Making almost single- 
handed a gallant fight, he reduced largely the majority of his 
influential and talented opponent, which of itself was a notable 
victory. He claimed on this canvass that while his adversary 
ran as a resident of the remotest corner of that district, he 
himself could appeal to constituents as one whose paternal 
name stood for one of its flourishing cities. A second time, in 
1892, which was the presidential year, Everett was Lodge's 
opponent for Congress, and again his adversary won. But the 
Republican legislature of 1893 now promoting Lodge to the 
United States Senate, a special election for representative was 
held in the seventh district in April, 1893, an d Everett, once 
more entering the canvass, prevailed over his new opponent by a 
close but confirmed majority consisting of less than twenty votes. 
This was the most auspicious opportunity of Everett's 
whole life. Could he but have kept a firm hold upon his new 
constituents for two or more successive terms, confirming their 
good will and confidence, he would surely have become at Wash- 
ington a national figure and best fulfilled his high ideals of 
service to his fellow-men. He had talents, independence, 
fearlessness in debate and the happy gift of making himself 
interesting by his racy way of putting things. His vote on 
all questions would have been honestly given and founded in 
fair reason. His unique and somewhat eccentric personality 
would have impressed fellow-representatives and the people. 
But unfortunately his first term of legislative service proved 
the last, and the fault was partly his own, for he neither took 
up his residence in the district he represented nor sought to 
make himself as familiar with the wants and wishes of his sup- 
porters as he should have done. He made some admirable 
speeches in Congress, conducted himself in public with discre- 
tion and voted wisely. As he stated in his maiden effort, here 
was his first appearance in any legislative body. And so indeed 
had it been with Daniel Webster; but Webster's congressional 
life had frequent renewals. Under any circumstances Everett 
might have lost an immediate reelection in a district so closely 
divided politically, but indifference to his constituents made 
his failure sure and permanent. Standing, rightly enough, 
upon the " anti-spoils " doctrine, he rigidly refused to take any 
part in the local distribution of executive patronage under 

1915.] WILLIAM EVERETT. 5 1 

President Cleveland, even where his advice was asked. Nor, 
probably, was he tactful or conciliating when refusing to 
concern himself in such matters or to do errands at the de- 
partments upon request. The district delegations sent to 
Washington to get a river and harbor appropriation were dis- 
appointed in him. For political management or organization, in 
truth, he showed neither taste nor skill. Macaulay might have 
kept an Edinburgh constituency true to him in the British House 
of Commons while holding himself personally aloof, but a seat 
in the House at Washington is not readily assured by a non-resi- 
dent of his district who stands solely upon a national record. 

Convinced by September, 1894, that his party would not 
nominate him again, Dr. Everett now notified the electors of 
the seventh district by a letter published in the Boston press 
that he withdrew his name as a candidate. When the district 
convention of the Democrats met, the next day, not only was 
another candidate nominated for the coming term but a simple 
vote of thanks to their present representative failed of passage. 
By way of partial consolation, the Republican nominee, his 
former adversary, won at the polls in November. And so did 
Everett's star for public service and distinction drop from the 
political sky before it had found time to brighten. 

Dr. Everett never could win at the ballot box in his own dis- 
trict or neighborhood. And as for political office, state or na- 
tional, none under one party executive or another is known 
to have been tendered him. He sacrificed much to serve in 
Congress for this single term. He had resigned from Adams 
Academy, and a young friend now filled his former place as 
head master there. He preached or lectured during the next 
three years, as occasion might offer, and wrote for the maga- 
zines. At one time he thought of opening an office to practise 
law; at another of arranging for lecture work with the manager 
of some lyceum bureau. He tried, but in vain, to gain a con- 
nection with the Greek department of Harvard. But his 
renown was still conspicuous in his native state. At the 
Bunker Hill anniversary of 1896 he delivered a notable oration, 
which he repeated before audiences in Cambridge and Phila- 
delphia. He repudiated Bryan and free silver in the presi- 
dential campaign of 1896, nor would he support the Republican 
candidate. When others advised him to prefer the lesser of two 


evils, he responded that of two evils he had been taught in 
childhood to choose neither. His voice and vote went eventually 
to the gold Democratic ticket of Palmer and Buckner. 

His successor at the Adams Academy having died suddenly, 
Dr. Everett once more resumed the head mastership in 1897. 
In June, 1899, he was chosen to Harvard's Board of Over- 
seers, a compliment he highly appreciated. That same year 
he delivered a course of lectures on John Milton before the 
Lowell Institute, whose audiences he often entertained during 
his life on one literary theme or another. The Lowells, as he 
wrote a friend in 1909, were always kind and considerate to 
him, and in the space of forty-five years he had given seven 
Institute courses on various subjects, at their invitation — 
a record scarcely equalled in his estimation. His audiences 
were made up of cultured and sympathetic admirers in this 
Boston vicinity, before whom he would discourse on the poets 
or read extracts in his freest and happiest vein. 

Of his long and laborious work at the head of Adams Academy 
Dr. Everett felt justly proud. In September, 1899, not long after 
he had been placed in charge for the second time, he boasted of 
thirty-eight new pupils added to thirty-two old ones — all but 
one of them Quincy boys. That he might pursue faithfully his 
work here of juvenile instruction, which interfered much with 
pleasurable trips elsewhere, he made much sacrifice. " For this," 
as he wrote, "I have renounced amusement, travel and society. 
I love the school infinitely better than Harvard or the Boston 
Latin School or anything but dear old Trinity College, Eng- 
land." And he adds: " Schoolmasters are the worst paid, the 
hardest worked and the poorest thanked men in the country." 

Few of his contemporaries appear to have noticed how closely 
identified was Dr. Everett with juvenile literature, in the 
course of his diversified career. He published, at one time 
or another, three well-written books for boys, besides contrib- 
uting an occasional sketch or story to children's periodicals. 
From his college days onward he showed much fondness for 
well-bred boys who showed him deference and respect. Many 
such, whether his pupils or not, learned to accost him with 
confidence and wrote him loving letters. To the end of his 
life he acknowledged the happiness all such friendships with a 
younger set had afforded him. 

191 5-] WILLIAM EVERETT. 53 

Forsaking at length the range of active politics, Everett 
henceforth gave his attention rather to political problems in 
their broader and more general relation to good citizenship. 
In June, 1900, he pronounced at Cambridge a remarkable 
Phi Beta Kappa address on " Patriotism" — the noblest and 
ablest written production, perhaps, of his whole life. Opposing 
in argument that fallacy of blind self-devotion misnamed good 
citizenship — "our country, right or wrong" — he upheld 
against all unrighteous war the love of truth and of God as 
paramount for nations and individuals. This address aroused 
so wide an interest that the Peace Society of Friends in Phila- 
delphia printed and circulated at their own cost five thousand 
copies. In 1904 Dr. Everett's Lowell Institute course dealt 
with the Italian poets since Dante; and these lectures, which a 
New York publishing firm issued in book form, were also 
widely read and enjoyed as an inspiring production. For the 
tercentenary anniversary of the birth of John Milton in De- 
cember, 1908, which was celebrated in this city under the 
auspices of the Massachusetts Historical Society, he delivered 
with dignity and effect a masterly oration upon the grand Puri- 
tan poet. All these three literary compositions were of his best. 

By this time, however, our distinguished fellow-member 
had begun to fail in health, strenuous and strained in mental 
activity as he had always shown himself. The limit of three- 
score years and ten proved nearly the destined bound of his busy 
career. His death appears to have been somewhat hastened by 
personal anxieties and disappointment. In 1907 sad announce- 
ment was made that Adams Academy would not reopen for 
the autumn; and in fact its doors now closed permanently, 
efforts having failed whether for adding new endowments or 
to induce the Quincy authorities to make the school an annex 
of some sort for the public education of its youth. This signal 
failure of his most continuous work in life was not due to any 
mismanagement on the head master's part — so those best 
cognizant have asserted — but rather to circumstances over 
which he had no control. To revive and cheer him in this 
emergency, an invitation now came to him from Cambridge, 
England, to give a university course on the British orators. 
Accepting this timely offer, Dr. Everett crossed the ocean in 
1908 to fulfil his engagement, but his health broke down 


and he returned home with the course but partly delivered. 
The Lowell Institute, however, arranged in 1909 that he should 
give that interrupted course entire before a Boston audience 
in the autumn. He did so and with pronounced success. But 
by this time he was so feeble that he had to be carried up and 
down the staircase of Huntington Hall and to sit while he 
addressed his hearers. It was a pathetic sight when the 
lecturer, despite all bodily infirmity, rose to his feet at the close 
of his final lecture and said with prophetic forecast that this 
was his last appearance before the Lowell Institute. 

Still mentally alert, William Everett now failed rapidly in 
physical health from week to week. He consulted as to passing 
the coming winter at Bermuda, but remained at home. At 
last he took to his bed, bade farewell to the world and such 
friends as had been constant to him, turned his face to the wall 
and breathed his last peacefully on the 16th of February, 1910. 
Scarcely a month before he died, the authorities of Quincy, 
as though regretful of their recent disregard of a famous 
fellow-citizen, chose him manager of the Adams Academy for 
a year; but the appointment came too late to be more than a 
passing tribute of appreciation. 

No characterization of William Everett, so brilliant in mental 
gifts and yet so singular, can be complete which fails to take 
into account the peculiar range of his domestic life. He never 
married, nor in manhood came strongly under woman's in- 
fluence, and yet he mostly kept house, as one who values the 
privacy of his own home. Hence his individuality became 
pronounced, as the years went on, and his mannerisms grew. 
No tender and coequal companion of the other sex watched 
his progress, to aid or advise; nor had he masculine associates, 
intimate and devoted, who might assume to guide him. 
Strongly impulsive by nature, and inclined to say and do what- 
ever first prompted him, he had to learn habitual reflection and 
self-restraint by harsh experience. Earnest to be true to him- 
self and at the same time successful in influencing others, he 
largely overcame some early faults; but others grew with 
mature years, making intercourse difficult with him and ob- 
structing his chosen pathway. His best friends made allow- 
ance for him and were constant in sympathy, even when hurt 
by his casual rudeness and want of delicate consideration; 

191 5-1 WILLIAM EVERETT. 55 

they wished him a success commensurate with his talents and 
aspirations. But others who also understood him would flatter, 
cajole and humor him; and, if cooperating in politics, they let 
him lead the forlorn hope, but did not share with him the 
more substantial honors. Everett was abnormally sensitive, 
zealous and frank; what he strove after he made quite clear 
to others by seeking their assistance. He was much warmer- 
hearted than most who met him thought. He would express 
himself impulsively, and whenever in an irritable mood harshly 
and impatiently; yet they who responded good-naturedly would 
recall him to himself, while to those who answered with corres- 
ponding roughness he showed himself ready repeatedly to make 
amends. Most frequently, however, the person offended by his 
inopportune brusqueness took it in silence, and, holding no 
further intercourse with him, became a personal enemy. 

Great mental power and nervous excitability were combined 
in this picturesque personage and dominated in whatever he 
said or wrote. He announced himself simply as he felt; he 
was sincere at heart, and, whether in politics, education or 
religion, the standards he stood for were of the highest. His 
scholarship was profound and accurate, and on critical points 
in language or classical lore his vocation as a school teacher 
kept him in constant equipment where others naturally deaden 
in their acquisitions through long disuse. While holding him- 
self high socially, as he had a good right to do, and associating 
most with those of rank and culture, he was by no means dis- 
dainful of the average of mankind, as he sometimes appeared 
to be. He did many spontaneous acts of kindness in various 
directions as his generous nature prompted. He valued highly 
all applause that came to him, and, watchful of the immediate 
impression produced, he was anxious at all times to be reported 
fully and correctly and be well understood by hearers or read- 
ers. He has been charged with a want of continuous applica- 
tion to his task; but the difficulty seems to have been rather in 
a diffusion of his efforts; for many of his occasional addresses, 
books and lecture courses must have cost him much continuous 
preparation. Yet with one so much bent upon producing an 
immediate effect, mental concentration upon longer and larger 
tasks, such, for instance, as the proposed biography of his 
father, must have failed of full opportunity. 


It occasioned much regret to Dr. Everett and his friends that 
Harvard never conferred upon him an honorary degree. His 
classmates in 1905 petitioned in vain on his behalf for such a dis- 
tinction. But the Doctorate which his alma mater denied him 
was bestowed upon him by Williams College in 1893 an d by 
Dartmouth in 1901. With his much earlier Ph.D. at Harvard, 
won in course, he was sufficiently a " Doctor" in common 
parlance for most of his mature life to gain from that academic 
title all that it might be practically worth to him in the com- 
munity. By that title he always liked to be accosted, while 
as for "Professor," his dislike became so inveterate as time went 
on (so his correspondence shows) that he would denounce 
comparative strangers for addressing him thus by letter, 
heedless, to their astonishment, of the familiar maxim "once 
a Professor always a Professor." His term in Congress entitled 
him to the further prefix, at choice, of "Honorable," and to 
this he seems not to have been adverse. 

It may be worth while, perhaps, to add in this connection 
that Everett had a decided opinion concerning the familiar 
use of his Christian name by those entitled to familiarity. He 
liked the nickname of "Bill" or "Billy," which his pupils would 
sometimes use in speaking of him among themselves. "I don't 
like to be called 'Will,'" he wrote to a friend in 1909, "and 
I hate ' William.' William is a Sabbath School prig, with no 
fun, no life, no heart in him. Will is almost a rowdy, a boy 
who will cut a ride, tumble off and then come into the parlor 
fresh from the road and bolt out of the dining room as soon 
as he has gobbled his dinner. I bless those that call me 'Bill.' " 
All this may seem rather fanciful, but it was characteristic. 

Our distinguished fellow-member did not disregard his own 
faults, nor was he wanting in habits of self-examination and 
the resolve to reform whatever might be amiss. He acknowl- 
edged on a last retrospect that he had been "very blunt, some- 
times reaching roughness and rudeness." Yet others, he 
complained, had shown toward him a want of tenderness and 
had been rough and rude in a more overbearing way. For his 
career in Washington, all too brief, he had set a careful watch 
upon himself. "When I went to Congress," he wrote in 1909, 
"I made and kept a solemn resolution that I would never 
indulge in any sarcasm or give way to any impulse to retort 


in debate. The result was that I was on warm terms with 
dozens of bitter opponents in politics." 

In temperament, manners, dress and personal appearance, 
William Everett was as unlike his illustrious father as possible. 
Both, however, had great gifts of scholarship, and each, after 
his own style, was an eloquent and captivating orator. In 
dignity, grace and a becoming impressiveness of thought and 
expression, Edward Everett was the superior of the two; 
but the son surpassed him in ready wit, pointedness, vivacity 
and a certain energy of gesture and delivery which was pecu- 
liarly his own. Both father and son wrote well, but while the 
one confined himself to sedate and stately prose the other 
bubbled over both in prose and verse, and in style could be grave 
or gay, as the mood moved him. The son's reverence for his 
father was supreme. 1 

William Everett's views on the subject of war were em- 
phatic in the last years of his life, and they gave the pro- 
foundest and most memorable expression to the political 
opinions he has left behind. Our momentary misunderstanding 
with Great Britain during President Cleveland's second term, 
and the later war with Spain, moved him to dwell much in 
thought upon such a theme. To his stirring Phi Beta Kappa 
oration on "Patriotism" allusion has already been made, 
and his depth of feeling therein shown found a later outlet in 
the poem "Peace or War? — A Vision," which he privately com- 
posed and printed in 1909. That poem, apparently the last 

1 President Eliot is the authority for the following story on that subject: 

" Edward Everett had been in the habit of presenting annually to Harvard Col- 
lege a handsomely bound copy of his Orations, to be given as a 'detur' to the 
first scholar near the beginning of the Sophomore year. In 1869, President 
Eliot, when distributing the deturs, thought he observed that the first scholar 
would have preferred to Everett's Orations the second or third detur, as they 
stood in order upon the table. The next year, therefore, he gave the highest 
scholar his choice among the few best deturs; and the first scholar did not select 
Everett's Orations. William Everett, after his father's death, had continued his 
father's practice. The fact that in 1870 Everett's Orations had not gone to the 
first scholar came to William Everett's ears; whereupon he hastened to Cam- 
bridge, and informed President Eliot that he would not present a copy of his 
father's Orations annually to the College, unless it could always go to the highest 
scholar. The President declining to make this promise, William Everett an- 
nounced that he should no longer present to the College annually his father's 
Orations, and added, in explanation of his indignation, that Everett's Orations 
would be remembered when those of Cicero and Burke were forgotten." 


literary effort of his life, beautiful and uplifting in argument 
and allegory, has never attracted the attention it deserved, 
for when he died, soon after composing it, America was at 
peace. But to-day, while civilized Europe closes in a deadly 
and exhausting struggle while our own country stands in peri- 
lous jeopardy of being drawn into an international conflict as 
in 1812, to maintain its neutral rights, the warning of that poem 
comes like a voice from the grave. As Everett wrote of him- 
self in 1909, he had been brought up with an admiration for 
the heroes and heroic fights of Greek and Roman story. But 
a friend set him thinking otherwise in early manhood, by a 
suggestion that, as duels had already gone out of fashion for 
individuals, so perhaps would war hereafter as a means of 
arbitrament, where nations differed; and by this time his 
personal views were wholly reversed. " Whatever war may 
have been in the past," he writes, "I believe it now to be a sin, 
a crime, and a blunder in all cases." 

Nevertheless, Everett's last outlook upon human progress 
was not a disheartened one. "I am no optimist," he expressed 
himself in this same letter; "I always see faults; but I am no 
pessimist either." 

Note. In the preparation of this Memoir, full use has been made of the William 
Everett collection of manuscripts now in the library of this Society. That 
collection consists of letters received by our late fellow-member, but there are 
no drafts of letters sent by him, nor diaries, nor autobiographical memoranda 
of any kind. The few letters specially quoted in these pages were written by 
Dr. Everett, not long before his death, to his college classmate and life-long 
friend, James H. Fay, Esquire, who has kindly allowed the present use of them. 
The Boston Evening Transcript of February 17, 1910, devoted a whole page of 
many columns to anecdotes and personal estimates of the deceased, highly in- 
teresting and full of choice biographical material. 

Charles Francis Adams, our President, was to have joined in the completion 
of the present Memoir, but death prevented. The following extracts are made 
from his statement in the Boston Evening Transcript, February, 1910, concerning 
his noted kinsman: "His life was a tragedy. He always had the dream of a 
long career in the public service like his distinguished father, Edward Everett, 
but it was destined never to come true. ... He was temperamentally unfitted 
for the practical things of life, and he failed where others with only a fraction 
of his great ability succeeded. He rivalled Macaulay in his power of memory, 
but he lacked the faculty for sustained work. His poems are admirable, but he 
was too impatient for immediate results to work for a lasting reputation as a 
literary man, consequently his output was fragmentary. ... He was a man of 
the kindliest nature, despite his abnormal sensitiveness, and the stories of his 
remarkable devotion to Quincy Academy are true." [J. S.] 



THE stated meeting was held on Thursday, the nth in- 
stant, at three o'clock, p. m. ; the President, Mr. Lodge, 
in the chair. 

The record of the last meeting was read and approved; and 
the Librarian reported the list of donors to the Library since 
the last meeting. 
The Cabinet-Keeper reported gifts as follows : 

Photograph of a portrait of John Brown by D. J. Gue, of Wash- 
ington, D. C., from the artist; photographs of John Powell and 
Mrs. John Powell, both from paintings by Copley, from Mr. Aeme- 
lius Jarvis, Toronto, Canada ; an album of photographs of European 
celebrities and of United States Consuls in foreign ports, 1863, 1864, 
collected by the late Rear-Admiral George Henry Preble, from his 
daughter, Miss Susie Z. Preble; proofs of engravings of buildings 
of the Old Colony Trust Company, Boston, issued on the twenty- 
fifth anniversary of the Company, from Francis R. Hart; a colored 
engraving of "B. Franklin, of Philadelphia," from H. B. Morse, of 
Arden, England; an engraving of John Quincy Adams, by Andrews, 
from a painting by Healy; and a photograph of Frederick Francis 
Baury, U. S. N., with other relics, from Mrs. Mary B. Rathbone. 

A framed medallion, in plaster, of Dr. F. J. Gall, with a bas- 
relief of J. G. Spurzheim by W. Bally; an oil painting of Spurzheim 
by Cephas G. Thompson, Boston, February, 1833, and one of 
George Combe painted by Daniel Macnee, September, 1836; and 
framed engravings of Isaac Barre, James Buchanan, John C. 
Calhoun, Rufus Choate, Henry Clay, Edward Everett, Andrew 
Jackson, Franklin Pierce, Zadock Pratt, Wellington and Nelson; 
and busts in plaster of Clay and Webster, all once owned by the 
late Nahum Capen, from his daughter, Mrs. Shelton Barry, of 

Medals of the Stoneham High School, from W. C. Whitcher; of 
the Boston Social Union, from the Union; the Daniels Medal, in 
silver, from Dr. A. C. Daniels; the Montana medal at the Panama 
International Exposition, from William Sumner Appleton; and of 
the Massasoit Memorial of the Order of Red Men, from Arthur 


The Corresponding Secretary reported the receipt of letters 
from George Parker Winship accepting his election as a Resi- 
dent Member of the Society, and from Henry Osborn Taylor 
accepting his election as a Corresponding Member. 

The Editor reported the following gifts: 

From Mary W. Parkinson, manuscript diaries of Rev. Peter 
Thacher (1752-1802), for seventeen years pastor of the Brattle 
Street Church, and one of the founders of this Society. These 
diaries are for the years 1773, 1780-81, 1784-85, 1798-99, but in 
no instance are complete for any one year. Mrs. Parkinson re- 
ceived them from the heirs of Miss Hannah Washburn, of Ludlow, 
Vermont, a great-granddaughter of Dr. Thacher. With these 
originals are transcripts of his diaries for 1772-73, 1793-95, and 
1797-98, deposited for the purpose of making copies for the Society. 

From Loring W. Puffer, letters to Ellis Ames on historical and 
genealogical matters. 

From Mrs. Charles H. Joy, grants and deeds of lands in Georgia 
and Virginia, and a letter-patent issued to David Dodge for an im- 
proved method of extracting oil from seeds. 

It was voted that Article 5 of Chapter vni of the By-Laws, 
authorizing the appointment of an Assistant Librarian, be 
amended by striking out the words "not members of the 
Society. ,, 

The President announced that the Council deemed it ad- 
visable that the vacancy in the Vice-Presidency occasioned 
by the death of Governor Long be filled, and had directed 
him to appoint a committee to nominate a candidate for that 
office to be voted for at the next meeting. He appointed 
Messrs. Wendell, Bradford, Howe, Kellen, and Edes. 

The President announced the death of Arthur Theodore 
Lyman. He was chosen a member of the Society, October 
10, 1901, and at the time of his death at his home in Waltham 
on October 24 stood thirty-fifth in seniority on the Resident 
Roll. He was seldom present at the meetings of the Society, 
and had made no communications during his membership. 
He served as the additional member of the Council from April, 
1904, to April, 1905. 

Professor Wendell presented the following tribute: 

A slight accident deprives me of the privilege of coming 
this afternoon to pay my tribute to a singularly happy mem- 


ory. The facts of Mr. Lyman's life, and the range of his many 
interests and responsibilities, will be recorded elsewhere. All 
I can attempt is briefly to indicate some of the features which 
made him in life one on whom we could surely depend. 

It was in his official character, as President of the Boston 
Athenaeum, that I saw him oftenest and most. At first sight, 
his extreme quietness of manner and his gentle reticence of 
speech were not impressive. All the deeper one found the 
impression he finally made. His unobtrusive presence was 
always and faithfully watchful; when the moment came to 
state a fact, he would state it so simply that only reflection 
would reveal to you the precision and the grasp of the mental 
processes needful for this excellent condensation; when the 
moment came for advice or for decision, he would give it just 
as simply and just as admirably. Above all things, the years 
made one feel, this man was of the few who can watchfully 
wait and bravely act. Few men, I think, ever were more true 
to the duty which life placed before them. Few, when called 
upon to think or to do, can ever have been found less want- 
ing. He had the self-mastery, the courage, and the deep sim- 
plicity of a great gentleman. 

Such a memory as he has left us is not only happy in itself; 
it is more deeply happy still, if so may be, as an example of 
what gracious strength of character can come into being, and 
pass through life from origins and amid surroundings purely 
American. More than many lives eminent in history, such a 
life as his justifies our country. 

The President then read a letter from Mr. Endicott 
communicating a letter from Earl Granville to Sir Cecil 
Arthur Spring Rice, and giving its history as follows: 

Endicott to Henry Cabot Lodge. 

Nov. ioth, 1915. 

Dear Sir, — I am requested by the Right Hon. Cecil Arthur 
Spring Rice, the British Ambassador in Washington, to present to 
the Massachusetts Historical Society through you the enclosed 
letter written by Lord Granville to him on April ioth, 1887. As 
far as I can remember the circumstances, under which the letter 
was written, are as follows: My father, who was then Secretary 
of War in Cleveland's first administration, and Sir Cecil, were 


present at a dinner in Washington at which Mr. John Chandler 
Bancroft Davis asserted that in 1862 the Emperor of the French 
wished to recognize the Southern Confederacy, provided he could 
obtain the co-operation of England; that the French Ambassador 
in London was instructed to approach the English Government on 
the subject; that the question of recognition was discussed by the 
English Cabinet and defeated by a vote of seven against six. My 
father as well as Sir Cecil, who knows a great deal of the history of 
those times, through his relations with prominent statesmen, rather 
questioned this statement. Mr. Davis was sure of his information, 
but agreed that Sir Cecil should write Lord Granville on the sub- 
ject. This letter is the reply received thereto. Yours very truly, 

William C. Endicott. 

Earl Granville to C. A. Spring Rice. 

Walmer Castle, Deal. April 10, [i8]87. 

Dear Spring Rice, — Sanderson tells me that you ask on Mr. 
Bancroft Davis' behalf whether I can confirm the statement that 
in 1862 the Emperor Napoleon intended to insert a paragraph in 
his speech, announcing that he intended to recognize the Southern 
States, that he communicated this intention to Lord Russell in 
the hope that a similar paragraph would be put into the Queen's 
Speech, that the proposal was discussed, and rejected by a majority 
of seven against six, and that the idea was consequently abandoned 
by the French Emperor. 

My recollection is that the Emperor in 1862 was in favour of a 
recognition of the Southern States and that one of his confidential 
advisers, M. de Persigny, was strongly of that opinion. 

M. de Flahault was instructed officially to propose that Great 
Britain, Russia and France should endeavour both at Washington, 
and with the Confederate States, to bring about a suspension of 
arms for six months. 

This was declined by Lord Russell in a reasoned dispatch. 1 

Mr. Gladstone, the Duke of Argyll and I are certain that no 
division was taken in the Cabinet. 

There were different shades of opinion, but the Cabinet was 
agreed as to the practical course to be taken. 

Some proposal for recognition was made by the Emperor, but 
neither Mr. Gladstone, the Duke of Argyll or I feel certain as to 
the exact form. Yours sincerely, 


1 A copy of this dispatch, dated November 13, 1862, printed as a Parlia- 
mentary paper, accompanies this letter. 

1915] DU PONT AND TALLEYRAND, 1 798. 63 

Mr. Morison read a chapter from his forthcoming History 
of Massachusetts, in the "American Commonwealth," entitled 
"The Orthodox Faith of the Seventeenth Century," in which 
he expressed the opinion that Calvinism suffered a sea-change 
before it reached New England, and that the first generation 
of Massachusetts divines hesitated to present the doctrine 
in the uncompromising spirit of its founder. He also com- 
municated the following notes and documents on 

Du Pont, Talleyrand, and the French Spoliations. 

The most critical period in the history of relations between 
France and the United States came in the year 1798. In re- 
taliation for what it deemed treachery on America's part in 
ratifying Jay's treaty with England, the Directory authorized 
extensive spoliations on American commerce. Redress was 
twice sought at Paris through diplomatic channels, but in 
vain; sympathy with the French Republic was so strong in 
America, particularly in the Democratic party, that the Direc- 
tory believed the risk of war to be negligible. But the publica- 
tion in Philadelphia in April, 1798, of the famous "X. Y. Z. 
dispatches," revealing the indignities to which our envoys had 
been subjected in Paris, sent a wave of resentment throughout 
the country. Congress responded by authorizing naval re- 
taliations against French armed vessels, and by taking meas- 
ures of preparedness for war. An open conflict between the 
two republics would have vitally affected the future of the 
United States; possibly of France as well. The Hamiltonian 
Federalists were eager for an opportunity to join the crusade 
against French democracy, to enter the European system, to 
send an army into Louisiana and Mexico, and, under the cover 
of war's necessities, to strengthen the Federal government 
and discipline the American people. All depended on whether 
or not the Directory accepted their challenge by declaring 
war, for the Hamiltonians did not feel sufficiently certain of 
their domestic strength to let it appear that the American 
government was the aggressor. Whatever, then, influenced 
the policy of France at this critical moment for the sister re- 
publics is decidedly worth bringing to light. 

The following report (memoire) from Victor Du Pont to 


Talleyrand was a peaceful influence of the first importance, as 
the accompanying documents prove. 1 In addition, the report 
gives an unusually vivid account, by one in a position to know, 
of the famous French spoliations; of the methods of colonial 
privateers and prize courts. It exposes the American policy 
of France, the value of American neutrality to the Republic, 
and her designs on Louisiana. It reveals the quiet but effec- 
tive influence exerted by Jefferson to prevent a war which he 
feared would compromise the future not only of his country, 
but of republican institutions. 

Victor-Marie Du Pont was the elder son of Pierre-Samuel 
Du Pont de Nemours, and one of the founders of the Dela- 
ware family of Du Pont. 2 After occupying a number of minor 
diplomatic and consular posts at Philadelphia, he was ap- 
pointed in July, 1795, French consul at Charleston. This was 
the American port most favored by French privateers, both 
on account of its proximity to the West Indies and the friendly 
attitude of the local authorities. Early in 1798 Du Pont was 
appointed consul general of the French Republic at Philadel- 
phia, to succeed Letombe. 3 But he did not arrive at his post 
until May, 1798, in the midst of the excitement and war 
preparations following the X. Y. Z. disclosure, and was re- 

1 I wish to express my thanks to the Directors of the Archives Nationales 
and of the Archives du Ministere des Affaires Etrangeres for their courtesy in 
permitting me to examine and to publish these documents. Professor J. A. 
James has noted the importance of Du Pont's memoire in the Mississippi Valley 
Historical Review, I. 54. 

2 He was born in 1767, was attached to the French legation at Philadelphia, 
from 1787 to 1789, returned to America in June, 1791, with Ternant, the last 
minister of Louis XVI to the United States, and was employed in the consulate 
general at Philadelphia until 1793, when he returned to France. After brief 
sendee under the Commission des Relations Exterieurs in Paris he was sent out 
to America a third time as first secretary under Adet, and by him appointed to 
the Charleston consulate to replace the incompetent Fonspertuis. This appoint- 
ment was subsequently confirmed by the Directory. Du Pont seems to have 
been on terms of confidence with Talleyrand, whom he probably met in Phila- 
delphia. He settled permanently in the United States in 1800. Appleton's 
Cyclopaedia of American Biography; National Cyclopaedia of American Biography, 
vi. 455; F. Masson, Le Department des Affaires Etrangeres, 333; Annual Report of 
the American Historical Association, 1903, 11. 192, 761. 

3 Talleyrand wrote Du Pont on November 15, 1797, that Letombe's political 
dispatches were unsatisfactory, and that he depended on him (Du Pont) to fur- 
nish the government with official documents and Congressional debates. Ar- 
chives du Ministere des Affaires Etrangeres, " Correspondance Politique, Etats- 
Unis," vol. 48, fol. 360. 

1915.] DU PONT AND TALLEYRAND, 1 798. 65 

fused his exequatur by President Adams. 1 On June 7, after 
securing an interview with Jefferson, 2 and gathering as much 
political information as possible, Du Pont sailed for France 
on the cartel ship Benjamin Franklin, together with Volney 
and other compatriots who were fleeing before the storm. 3 
They arrived at Bordeaux on July 3, just preceded by news of 
the growing war spirit in the United States, and the retalia- 
tory acts passed by Congress. 4 This news was an unpleasant 
surprise to Talleyrand; 5 it upset his calculations of the strength 
of pro-gallicanism in America. As war with the United States 
was the last thing he desired, he was now disposed to pay some 
attention to the principal American grievance — the spolia- 
tions — and addressed the following inquiry to Du Pont : 

Relations Exterieures. Paris le 28 Messidor an 6. 

[16 July, 1798] 

ci-joint la Le Ministre des Relations Exterieures au 

reponse du Cit. Dupont ci-devant Consul, charge du 

Cen. Dupont Consulat general de la Republique Fran- 

caise pres les £tats-Unis. 
Vous arrivez des fitats-Unis, citoyen, et votre traversee a et6 
prompte. Votre situation vous a mis a meme de connaitre a fonds 
l'etat moral du pays, avant votre depart. Veuillez vous occuper 
d'un rapport precis sur cet objet. 

Mais je vous en demande un autre que je desire avoir prompte- 
ment. II parait qu'une fermentation generale regne dans les ports 
americains et que le President l'a faite concourir aux mesures qu'il 
recommande ou fait suggerer aux deux chambres legislatives. 
Quels sont les actes des croiseurs francais sur leurs cotes et dans les 

1 Jefferson, Writings (Ford), vn. 262. 

2 See infra, p. 75 n. 

3 Cf. Volney 's letters to La Revelliere-Lepeaux in Annates Revolutionnaires, 
in. 185-87. 

4 This news reached Bayonne on June 28, by the same vessel that brought 
Kosciuszko from America. T. Korzon, Kosciuszco, 502; cf. Writings of John 
Q. Adams, 11. 354 n.; Report of the American Historical Association, 1912, 433. 

6 Talleyrand wrote Letombe on September 1, 1797, just before the arrival of 
the American envoys in Paris: "II est vraisemblable que ce qui ce passe aujour- 
d'hui, en leur [les fitats de l'Est] donnant une idee des moyens que nous avons de 
leur nuire leur inspirera quelques managements a notre 6gard." Archives du 
Ministere des Affaires fitrangeres, " Correspondance Politique, Etats-Unis," 
vol. 48, fol. 214. Cf. Talleyrand's postscript of July 15, 1798, to his letter of July 
12 to Gerry ( Wait's State Papers, 111. 363); his letter of July 9 to Pichon {Works 
of John Adams, vm. 684) ; American news in the Moniteur, 22, 26 and 29 Messidor, 
An. VI; and Writings of J. Q. Adams, 11. 342 n. 


Antilles dont ils se plaignent? Quels sont les procedes des tribu- 
naux coloniaux et des consuls dans les Etats-Unis a l'egard des 
prises? De quelle maniere enfin sont executes dans les mers loin- 
taines les arretes du Directoire Executif qui autorisent dans de 
certains cas, l'arrestation des neutres en general, et des americains 
en particulier? 

Salut et Fraternite. 1 
Dupont replied as follows: 

Victor du Pont au Citoyen Talleyrand Ministre 
des Relations Exterieures. 2 

Paris 3 Thermidor An six de la Republique. 
[21 July, 1798.] 

Citoyen Ministre, — J'ai recu votre lettre du 28 messidor par 
laquelle vous me demandez sur l'etat actuel des Etats-Unis un rap- 
port que je me disposals a vous presenter. 

Vous desirez plus promptement quelques details sur les actes de 
nos croiseurs francais dont les Etats-Unis se plaignent. 

II parait, Citoyen Ministre, que les representations que mes 
collegues dans les fitats-Unis et moi avons addressees a vous et a 
votre predecesseur, sur la conduite de nos corsaires dans les mers 
d'Amerique, ne sont jamais parvenues. 3 II parait que le Directoire 
ignore encore que leurs exces ont ete sans bornes, et aussi contraires 
aux principes de la justice qu'a ceux d'une saine politique. 

Je n'hesiterai done point a declarer hautement que je considere 
la conduite des corsaires francais, ou soi-disant francais des Antilles, 
comme une des principales causes du refroidissement graduel des 
Americains a notre egard, et de la fermentation de l'eflervescence 

1 Archives du Ministere des Affaires fitrangeres, " Correspondance Politique, 
£tats-Unis," vol. 50, fol. 68. Unsigned draft. It is not to be inferred from this 
letter that Talleyrand at the time of writing was ignorant of the French spolia- 
tions. Frequent references to them in the Paris newspapers and in the archives 
anterior to this date show that both he and the Directory were in possession of 
the essential facts, though much that Du Pont related was doubtless new to 
them. Talleyrand was simply calling for information upon which to base an 
appeal to the Directory for restraining the corsairs, a step which the news from 
America had convinced him to be necessary in order to avoid war. As minister 
of foreign relations Talleyrand was little more than chief clerk of his department; 
the Directors controlled the foreign policy of the Republic. 

2 "Correspondance Politique, fitats-Unis," vol. 50, fols. 99-106. A. L. S. 

3 It is at present impossible to find out whether or not these reports arrived, 
since the consular correspondence in the French archives is not yet open to in- 
vestigators. LStombe, the consul general at Philadelphia, also sent a report on 
the spoliations of which no notice was taken. Wait's State Papers, 111. 407; 
"Correspondance Politique, fitats-Unis," vol. 51, fol. 193. 

1915.] DU PONT AND TALLEYRAND, 1 798. 67 

generale qui regnent aujourd'hui contre nous dans les villes de 
commerce et dans tout le pays situe le long des cotes : effervescence 
que nos ennemis ne cessent d'entretenir et d'exciter et qui sert de 
pretexte et d'appui aux mesures hostiles que le gouvernement des 
fitats-Unis a promis a PAngleterre d'adopter contre nous, et qui 
peut conduire naturellement a une rupture, a, une guerre longue et 
cruelle entre les deux Republiques. 

Vous me demandez des faits, Citoyen Ministre; ils se presentent 
en foule a ma memoire, et je ne suis embarrasse que sur le choix. 
On ferait des volumes de la collection des actes de violence, de 
brigandage, de pirateries commis par des croiseurs francais, ou 
sous pavilion francais, dans les mers d'Amerique, principalement 
diriges contre le commerce americain, et qui, loin d'avoir ete re- 
primes par les agents de la Republique a Saint-Domingue et a la 
Guadeloupe, ont presque toujours ete excites ou proteges par 

Je commencerai par les abus sans nombres qui sont resultes des 
commissions de corsaires signees et delivrees en blanc par les Com- 
mandants, Agents et Delegues de la Republique; leurs commis 
en faisaient un trafic honteux, elles arrivaient ensuite aux Etats- 
Unis, ou elles devenaient plus ouvertement un objet de commerce. 
J'ai trouve beaucoup de ces commissions en blanc dans les effets 
de plusieurs marins corsaires morts a Charleston et entr'autres d'un 
nomme Fite et du fameux Moulinier dit Bouteille; elles etaient 
signees Etienne Laveaux et Perroud. 

En germinal de l'an cinq un nomme Granier, ancien maire de la 
partie francaise de Saint-Martin, arrive a Charleston sur la flute 
La Lourde ayant ete deporte de Saint-Domingue par les commis- 
saires delegues, apporta des commissions signees d'eux et en vendit 
une cinq cents piastres en assurant qu'elle lui avait coute pres- 
qu' autant dans la colonic Des Porigine de ces commissions en 
blanc, et lorsque l'on sut que Ton s'en procurait facilement dans les 
bureaux a, Saint-Domingue, des corsaires trouverent plus simple et 
moins couteux d'en faire imprimer dans les Etats-Unis et d'y con- 
trefaire les signatures. J'en ai arrete ainsi plusieurs imprimees a 
Charleston, avant qu'il y eut une imprimerie francaise dans cette 
ville, et avec des caracteres anglais sans accent sur les e. 

Ces commissions couvraient, en cas de prise par les ennemis, les 
armements illicites et secrets faits dans les Etats-Unis meme, et 
depuis la paix avec l'Espagne, dans les Florides et autres posses- 
sions espagnoles, par des rlibustiers de toutes les nations, qui, etant 
entierement inconnus, ne donnaient, ni ne pouvaient donner aucun 
gage de leur bonne conduite. Ils n'avaient point fourni de cau- 
tionnement ni rempli aucune des autres formalites sagement exigees 


par toutes les lois faites pour reprimer les abus de cette execrable 
institution appellee la course. 

Aux £tats-Unis ces hommes partaient ainsi dans de petits bati- 
ments furtivement amies, prenant un role sous des noms supposes; 
aux colonies un grand nombre de citoyens de couleur sortaient dans 
des barges ou bateaux sans autres armes que de mauvais fusils, 
lis arretaient tous les batiments non amies, pillaient Pargent et les 
effets des passagers, quelques ballots de marchandises seches si le 
navire en etait charge, et partageaient ensuite leur butin a l'em- 
bouchure des rivieres ou dans les anses sur la c6te. En brumaire 
de l'an 4, j'ai fait arreter a Charleston un nomme Cauvin maitre 
d' equipage et deux matelots qui avaient ainsi pille des Americains 
venants de la Nouvelle Orleans, et je leur ai fait restituer leur part 
du pillage. 

Souvent plus hardis, ces pretendus corsaires amarinaient des 
batiments supposes ennemis et les amenaient en vertu de leurs 
fausses commissions dans les ports des Etats-Unis et dans les ports 
des colonies espagnoles. Si les agents de la Republique dans ces 
ports eussent fait leur devoir, il eut ete facile de reconnaitre et 
d'arreter ces pretendus corsaires, de saisir leurs prises, et de faire 
passer leurs equipages sur les batiments de la Republique ou ils 
eussent ete bien plus utiles. Mais plusieurs fonctionnaires fermaient 
les yeux avec une complaisance ou une faiblesse deplacee, et les 
protegeaient sous pretexte qu'ils se rendaient utiles en detruisant 
le commerce de nos ennemis, sans observer qu'ils detruisaient aussi 
souvent celui de nos amis, et compromettaient ainsi le nom et le 
pavilion francais. 

Dans les colonies espagnoles c'etait et c'est encore bien pire. Les 
agents qui y ont ete envoyes par les Commissaires delegues, et qui 
prennent le titre de Consuls, et s'arrogent le droit de condamner 
les prises, sont presque tous capitaines, agents et armateurs de 
corsaires; nous avons a Porto Rico un nomme Paris, capitaine d'un 
des premiers corsaires armes dans les Etats-Unis, qui en possede 
encore plusieurs, et qui n'a cesse de faire la course en personne que 
lorsqu'il a ete nomme agent et charge d'instruire les proces des 
prises que ces corsaires amenent dans cette ile espagnole; et qui 
sont pour la plupart americaines. Les agents dans les iles neutres 
du vent sont tous egalement interesses dans la course. 

A Charleston je me suis attire ranimadversion de tous les cor- 
saires navigants ou administrants, parce que j'ai cherche a ramener 
a la subordination, et a l'execution des lois tous les batiments par- 
ticuliers qui y ont relaches. J'ai fait arreter et vendre en Georgie 
pour le compte de la Republique un corsaire nomme la Jeune 
Creole qui n'avait point de papiers, qui avait fait un pillage con- 

1915] D U PONT AND TALLEYRAND, 1798. 69 

siderable sur des Espagnols et des Americains, et dont l'equipage 
s'est sauve a temps en apprenant mes resolutions a leur sujet. J'ai 
arrete une goelette armee nommee le Gruper qui avait achete sa 
commission a Charleston, comme il a ete declare en chancellerie, 
par l'agent de ce pretendu corsaire et par le nomme Agar qui en 
etait capitaine. J'ai retenu la commission grattee et surcharged 
d'un autre corsaire nomme le Hennique, Capitaine Moreau Michel; 
ce dernier n'osant meme pas aller a Saint-Domingue, et esperant 
obtenir a prix d'argent dans les Etats-Unis la condamnation de 
plusieures prises qu'il avait menees a la Nouvelle-Orleans, ou il n'y 
avait point alors d'agent francais. J'ai ecrit au gouverneur espa- 
gnol pour le prier de faire relacher une de ces prises qui etait ameri- 
caine, et de conserver les prises anglaises dont la valeur devait 
appartenir a la Republique. J'aurais saisi et confisque egalement 
deux prises anglaises amenees a Wilmington dans la Caroline du 
Nord par un soi-disant corsaire francais nomme la Bellone, ap- 
partenant a Messieurs Nadeau et Boute, et dont la commission 6tait 
evidemment fausse, si le consulat general ne se fut attribue la haute 
main sur ces prises. 

Longtemps avant que l'on connut en Amerique les diverses lois 
et arretes qui restreignent le commerce des neutres, des mesures 
beaucoup plus rigoureuses que celles determinees par ces lois etaient 
mises a execution contre les Americains. Ceux-ci se degoutaient 
tous les jours du commerce des ports francais des Antilles, ou leurs 
cargaisons etaient saisies par les administrations qui ne leur lais- 
saient pas la permission de vendre aux particuliers, qui les taxaient 
a un prix fort au dessous de leur veritable valeur, qui ne les payaient 
presque jamais, ou leur faisaient attendre souvent six mois et plus 
des traites sur France qui n'etaient pas payees, ou qui 1'etaient en 
papier-monnaie depreciee. Quelquefois les administrations deli- 
vraient en retour des productions coloniales, mais taxees aussi par 
elles, et a un prix plus haut que le cours. Plusieurs negociants, et 
principalement tous ceux qui nous etaient devoues, furent entiere- 
ment mines par cette conduite. D'autres, effrayes, rallentirent et 
cesserent peu a peu leurs envois. lis les dirigerent alors de pre- 
ference vers les ports anglais ou ils etaient regulierement payes, 
ou ils pouvaient vendre a qui bon leur semblait. 

Les agents de la Republique dans les Antilles ne virent dans 
cette predilection (qui fut meme tardive) pour les possessions an- 
glaises que les traces d'une politique devouee a nos ennemis, qu'un 
esprit de haine et d'eloignement pour nos principes et notre gou- 
vernement. Ils auraient du y voir aussi la marche naturelle du 
commerce, qui calcule ses propres interets preferablement a ceux 
des nations, et qui ne peut pas vouloir perdre. 


Des lors les Americains furent traites en quelque sorte comme 
ennemis. Le commissaire Hugues ne faisait plus respecter de navires 
americains que ceux qui lui etaient expedies directement par les 
agents particuliers qu'il entretenait a New York et a Baltimore. 
Les corsaires de la Guadeloupe prenaient tous les autres indistincte- 
ment, et approvisionaient ainsi la colonic Les matelots americains 
etaient jettes dans les prisons pele-mele avec les Anglais; on en 
echangea quelques uns, et l'on voulait en echanger davantage contre 
nos matelots avec les Anglais. Ceux-ci, toujours habiles a profiter 
de nos fautes, et a faire tourner a leur avantage tout ce qui pouvait 
nous nuire dans Pesprit des Americains, renvoyerent ces marins; 
et cela fit un grand effet, et donna une vive animosite contre nous. 

A Saint-Domingue on adoptait a peu pres la meme marche. II 
sufnsait qu'un batiment americain fut expedie pour un port ennemi, 
ou en vint, pour etre considere comme de bonne prise. On en con- 
damna un au Cap venant de Madere, appartenant a une maison 
americaine de Charleston, et charge de vin pour le compte des 
principaux citoyens de cette ville. 

II n'y avait a Saint-Domingue pendant un certain temps ni 
tribunal de commerce, ni cour d'amiraute pour faire l'application 
des lois aux prises mises en jugement. Les rapports sur les prises 
etaient faits par les secretaires particuliers des Commissaires. La 
commission etait sensee de juger, mais l'intrigue et l'influence des 
corsaires sur les subalternes, les commis, les alentours de la com- 
mission, tous interesses dans ces armements, fut aussi evidente que 
naturelle. Plusieurs ofhciers de la Republique arrivants de Saint- 
Domingue a Charleston me rapporterent a ce sujet des faits trop 
vraisemblables; mais que je ne repete pas parceque je n'ai d'autre 
preuve que leur assertion. 

Ce qu'il y a de certain, est que presque tous, pour ne pas dire 
tous les batiments rencontres, etaient arretes et ensuite condamnes 
sous les pretextes les plus frivoles, et meme ceux qui avaient ete 
bien et dument expedies pour les ports francais. Tantot c'etait 
parceque le batiment avait fait un voyage quelque temps aupara- 
vant dans un port anglais ou rebelle, sans observer qu'il n'etait pas 
frette alors pour le compte des memes negociants. Tantot parceque 
le capitaine quoique naturalise depuis longtemps etait ne en Irlande 
ou ailleurs. Tantot parceque le subrecargue etait francais, 
refugie de Saint-Domingue aux Etats-Unis, et par consequent soup- 
conne d'emigration. Tantot parceque ces batiments visites par 
des fregates anglaises avaient recu l'ordre, qu'ils n'avaient pu 
refuser a la force d'inscrire sur leur registre, de faire voile pour le 
Mole ou pour Jeremie. Quelques-uns des batiments expedies de 
Charleston par des maisons franqaises naturalisees, et d'apres mes 


vives sollicitations, et parceque la Commission rn'avait ecrit qu'elle 
manquait de vivres, furent egalement condamnes, malgre mes passe- 
ports et mes lettres de recommandations. 

Tous ces jugements ressemblent parfaitement a ceux rendus a. 
la Providence et a la Bermude il y a trois ans, et les excedent meme 
de beaucoup en subtilites; mais les Americains observent que les 
Anglais n'avaient point alors de traites avec eux; et les Anglais ont 
quitte habilement ce genre de conduite au moment ou nous l'avons 
adopte, ami de tirer tout le parti possible pour leurs interets et 
leur influence dans les Etats-Unis, du mecontentement que nos 
mesures y excitaient. 

La dignite des Etats-Unis est aussi souvent compromise par des 
violations de territoire presqu'aussi frequentes que les violations 
des proprietes particulieres, et dont reflet pouvait etre moins sen- 
sible a la classe commercante, mais l'etait bien davantage a nos 
amis, aux Republicans tiers de leur independance comme nation. 
Un corsaire de la Guadeloupe tira un boulet dans la Delaware sur 
un Americain qui sortait de Philadelphie, et un de ces boulets cassa 
le bras d'une malheureuse femme francaise passagere a bord de cet 
Americain, et qu'il fallut mettre a terre dans la riviere. A Charles- 
ton un autre corsaire vint bruler dans la rade, apres l'avoir pille, 
un navire Anglais du convoi de la Jamaique, qui s'etait refugie 
apres un gros temps et reparait ses avaries. Quantite de prises 
americaines furent faites par ces corsaires, sur les cotes des Etats- 
Unis, dans leurs eaux, dans leurs baies, dans leurs rivieres. 

Voila, Citoyen Ministre, des faits et des griefs qui n'ont aucun 
rapport avec l'execution des arretes du Directoire executif ni avec 
les lois qui autorisent dans certains cas l'arrestation des neutres en 
general et des americains en particulier. Ces vexations, loin d'avoir 
ete autorisees par le Directoire ne sont meme pas connues de lui; 
il ne peut done qu'etre tres utile de les desavouer publiquement. 

S'il m'etait permis d'aj outer au recit de ce qui se passe dans les 
Antilles et sur les cotes des Etats-Unis, quelques details qui m'ont 
ete donnes a Bordeaux par des negociants francais, et qu'il vous 
sera facile de verifier sur les prises conduites dans nos ports de 
France; je vous observerais, Citoyen Ministre, qu'il parait qu'ici 
comme en Amerique les Etats-Unis ont eu a se plaindre de l'exten- 
sion donnee aux arretes et aux lois, et de la maniere dont elles sont 
appliquees par les tribunaux, et que les Americains se plaignent en 
effet beaucoup plus de cette conduite partiale et arbitraire que des 
lois elles-memes, qui portent un caractere de generalite. Les lois 
restreignent le commerce de tous les neutres, une nation n'a pas 
plus a reclamer contre elle que l'autre; mais l'arbitraire des juge- 
ments guides par 1'esprit de prevention qui regne contre les Ameri- 


cains les offense personellement, et mine des individus qui, ayant 
pris toutes les precautions necessaires pour se conformer a, nos lois, 
ne devraient rien avoir a craindre. Tantot on a donne un effet 
retroactif a la loi, sur les marchandises anglaises, et Ton a confisque 
des batiments partis longtemps avant qu'elle fut connue. Tantot 
on a condamne les prises parceque les corsaires au lieu de mettre 
les scelles sur tous les papiers en ont detruit ou soustrait une partie 
ce qui a ete constate ensuite, mais trop tard, a ce qu'ont pretendu 
les juges. Dans une autre circonstance un navire a ete declare de 
bonne prise parceque deux experts ont decide dans leur sagesse 
qu'un baril de clous etait marchandise anglaise, quoique rien ne 
put le faire soupconner tel; et qu'au contraire il fut constant qu'il 
etait de fabrique americaine, car les Americains ont beaucoup de 
tres bonnes fabriques de clous, et ils ont appris des Anglais a les 
tres bien faire. J'abuserais de votre patience, Citoyen Ministre, 
en multipliant davantage les exemples. Ils sont innombrables, et 
ce n'est pas tout a fait sans raison que les Americains vexes, mines 
par de pareils jugements se persuadent que les corsaires dominent 
partout, meme dans les tribunaux de commerce. 1 

On a sur les mers, et dans nos ports traites les Americains comme 
ennemis; c'etait un moyen sur de les rendre tels. 

Ce systeme de guerre, de persecution, de spoliation au dela des 
lois, contre les neutres, est certainement contraire aux intentions 
veritables de notre gouvernement, qui voit tres bien qu'en outre- 
passant les lois on fait degenerer sa juste severite en partialite et en 
injustice; et Ton tend tres dangereusement et d'une maniere tout 
a fait contraire a sa magnanimite et a, sa sagesse a changer en en- 
nemis declares ou caches ceux meme qui sont et desirent etre nos 
amis sans vouloir cependant partager nos querelles. 

Les neutres sont entre les puissances belligerentes des ministres 
de paix, des moyens de communication precieux, des especes de 
cartels pour le commerce, qu'il est d'un interet commun de respec- 
ter. II est certain que le pavilion americain couvre beaucoup de 
proprietes anglaises, mais il en couvre aussi beaucoup de francaises; 
et vous n'ignorez pas, Citoyen Ministre, que l'embargo actuel re- 
tient dans nos ports plusieurs batiments appartenants a nos nego- 

1 At the time this letter was written the Directory was already attempting 
to reform the existing system of French prize law, by virtue of which the tribunals 
of commerce in the various ports, composed largely of privateer owners, had 
practically final judgment in prize cases. On May n, 1798, the Directory sub- 
mitted to the Corps legislatif a report by Talleyrand, who pointed out that these 
local courts were thus invested with the right to nullify treaties with neutral 
powers, and proposed a system of administrative prize courts. This reform was 
strongly opposed by the privateering interests, and was not accomplished until 
after the fall of the Directory. 

1915J DU PONT AND TALLEYRAND, 1 798. 73 

ciants et pour lesquels nous ne pouvons pourtant pas faire d'excep- 
tions, de peur de les designer a nos ennemis. Supposons que pair 
les anciennes liaisons, par le pouvoir de la langue, des gouts, des 
mceurs, des habitudes, il se trouvat que sur cent batiments ameri- 
cains qui pretent leur pavilion, soixante fussent anglais et quarante 
seulement francais. Faudrait-il pour la difference de ces vingt 
batiments renoncer aux secours, aux avantages que les quarante 
autres nous donnent; serai t-il prudent et bien calcule non seulement 
de nous en priver, mais de jetter les cent batiments dans la balance 
de l'Angleterre, et dans un moment ou nous n'avons ni commerce 
maritime ni convois pour en proteger un. 

La guerre qui se prepare entre les deux Republiques sera funeste 
a toutes deux, et ceux qui l'auront provoquee des deux cotes en 
seront responsables a leur pays et a la posterite. 

Pour les Etats-Unis c'est la perte de leur liberte et de leur inde- 
pendance. Obliges de s'unir a, l'Angleterre, ils n'auront plus le 
pouvoir de se separer d'elle. Ils redeviendront une colonie, ou 
plutot une branche de la monarchic britannique. 

De notre cote en declarant la guerre aux Etats-Unis nous ne 
pouvons nous dissimuler que nous versons plus de vingt mille marins 
tres experimentes sur les vaisseaux de guerre de l'Angleterre, qui 
ne manque point de batiments mais seulement de bras pour les 
conduire. 1 Nous n'ignorons pas que nos colonies affamees devien- 
dront bien tot la proie des nouveaux allies; que celle de nos amis 
les Espagnols qui touchent aux Etats-Unis seront bientot envahies 
par cette population demi guerriere demi cultivatrice du Territoire de 
POuest des fitats-Unis, qui depuis longtemps convoite ces provinces, 
et a offert alternativement a nous et aux Anglais de les conquerir. 

II nous sera facile et utile d'avoir un jour la Louisiane et les 
Florides, et ce jour peut etre prochain; mais il faut pour cela eviter 
de donner a l'Angleterre, avant que nous puissions en prendre 
possession, l'occasion et le moyen de s'en emparer par les forces 
des Americains, a la faveur d'un simple traite de partage qui pour- 
rait meme ne pas engager l'Amerique dans une guerre directe avec 
l'Espagne. 2 

1 Talleyrand had already foretold the danger of this in a report to the Direc- 
tory of June 1, 1798 (Archives Nationales, AF m 64, dossier 263); and the British 
government, in a despatch of June 8, 1798, to its minister at Philadelphia (Public 
Record Office, F. O. 5. 22), proposed to lend the United States a naval force to 
use against France, in return for being supplied with a certain number of seamen 
for the Royal Navy. 

2 In the same despatch the British government promised to promote American 
conquest of Louisiana and the Floridas in return for a free hand in San Domingo. 
Talleyrand at this time was pressing the Spanish government to cede Louisiana 
to France. American Historical Review, x. 276. 


II n'est meme que trop vrai que les deux Mexiques ne seraient 
point en surete; qu'une marche de trente jours pourrait y conduire 
une armee qui passerait pour anglaise, quoique recrutee d'Ameri- 

Dans une guerre contre nous, et que nous paraitrions avoir 
provoquee, nos amis qui pendant la neutralite se prononcent pour 
nous, n'oseraient plus se declarer. lis seraient comme est aujour- 
d'hui le parti de l'opposition en Angleterre, qui cede aux mesures du 
gouvernement pour ne point paraitre manquer de patriotisme. 

II est vrai que les Americains perdraient leur liberte; mais ce 
serait pour nous, qui la leur avons donnee, un malheur de plus. 
Nous rendrions done l'Amerique a PAngleterre, qui parviendrait en 
peu d'annees a y faire nommer un de ses princes a 1# place de Presi- 
dent. Nous la lui rendrions du double plus puissante que nous ne 
la lui avons otee, et nous nous priverions au moins pour cette guerre 
et peut-etre pour toujours, des moyens d'abaisser son orgueil et de 
la mettre au rang des puissances maritimes du second ordre. Une 
nation qui a derriere elle un refuge comme les Etats-Unis, qui pour- 
rait y transporter ses richesses et s'y retirer plus redoutable apres 
avoir perdu son ile, ne saurait jamais etre soumise. 

II est done dans cette circonstance de notre eminent interet 
d'eviter la guerre avec les Etats-Unis par tous les moyens compa- 
tibles avec rhonneur et la dignite de la Republique. 

Le Directoire verra sans doute notre veritable dignite a nous 
montrer justes et sages, moderes meme, envers un peuple a qui 
notre nation peut exprimer des sentiments maternels. C'est vis-a- 
vis de l'Empereur, et des Anglais redoutables par eux-memes, que 
nous avons a deployer une noble fierte. Mais en donnant des 
marques de bienveillance au peuple americain, ce peuple dont tous 
les individus lisent, qui juge par lui-meme, et dont la majorite 
voit deja avec peine certains actes de son gouvernement, sera bien 
convaincu alors que le tort le plus grave est de son cote; et il changera 
une partie de ce gouvernement aux elections prochaines, qui ont 
lieu en automne. 

Si au contraire nous les attaquons chez eux, ou si nous continuons 
seulement a leur faire la guerre sans vouloir les entendre, ou si nous 
leur demandons apres avoir mine leur commerce des contributions 
exorbitantes que l'eloignement ne nous permet pas d'aller lever 
chez eux; alors ils se reuniront et ils se battront bien, quoiqu'a 
regret, quoique convaincus que cette guerre sera la perte de leur 
independance et qu'ils seront obliges dans vingt ans de s'insurger 
encore une fois pour la retablir. 

II est certain que le gouvernement americain a eu de grands 
torts avec nous, mais n'en n'avons nous pas eu avec lui? Nos 

1915.] DU PONT AND TALLEYRAND, 1 798. 75 

tribunaux, n'en ont-ils pas eu, et les corsaires qui ont usurpe notre 
pavilion et se sont conduits en brigands, n'ont-ils pas eu aussi en 
notre nom des torts que nous devons hautement improuver, que 
nous devons meme punir si les coupables nous tombent sous la 

Pourquoi n'en conviendrions nous pas? Pourquoi ne temoigne- 
rions nous pas notre indignation contre les gens qui s'efTorcent 
d'engager les deux republiques dans une guerre si contraire a leurs 
maximes et a leurs interets? Et quand le gouvernement ameri- 
cain, pousse par l'Angleterre trop interessee a cette querelle, et qui 
ne menage ni or ni intrigue pour l'accelerer, vient d'accroitre ses 
torts par des provocations de tous genres; le role de la moderation, 
du mepris pour les provocations, de la justice envers tous n'est-il 
pas le plus honorable a, tenir? 

Je proposerais done 

i°. De retirer toutes les commissions des corsaires des Antilles, 
afin de n'en delivrer a l'avenir qu'a des hommes connus, avoues et 
cautionnes; et de desavouer en meme temps, comme ayant ete 
commises par des pirates, toutes les violations de territoire sur la 
c6te des Etats-Unis, toutes les spoliations commises dans les An- 

2 . D'annoncer le dessein de reviser les lois dont tous les neutres 
se plaignent avec tant de force et tant de raison, et en attendant, 
soit de retirer aux tribunaux de commerce pour rendre a des cours 
d'amiraute le jugement des prises, soit de reviser les jugements ou 
de les surveiller, afin qu'a l'avenir ils ne soient plus marques au. 
coin de la prevention la plus forte. 

3 . De faire savoir au gouvernement des Etats-Unis que s'ils 
veulent envoyer soit a Paris soit en Hollande ou en Espagne de 
nouveaux commissaires, on sera dispose a les reconnaitre et a, traiter 
avec eux. 

Si je me suis permis, Citoyen Ministre, d'ajouter aux details que 
vous me demandiez quelques donnees sur la maniere qui me parait la 
plus propre a concilier deux republiques dont la desunion serait 
aussi fatale; e'est que l'opinion que je viens de manif ester est celle 
des chefs du parti Republicain en Amerique, qui m'ont tous repetes 
au moment de mon depart qu'eux et la liberte de leur pays etaient 
perdus, si le Directoire n'adoptait pas une conduite aussi sage que 
celle du gouvernement federal l'etait peu. 1 Cette opinion des 

1 Du Pont had had an interview with Jefferson on May 31, 1798. Jefferson, 
Writings (Ford), vn. 262. In his first letter to Talleyrand (July 6), after his 
arrival in France, Du Pont wrote: "Je vous ferai part, Citoyen Ministre, des 
conversations confidentielles que j'ai eues la veille de mon depart avec Monsieur 
Jefferson et plusieurs autres de nos amis; vous verrez que leur espoir est en vous 


hommes les plus illustres parmi eux doit etre de quelque poids aux 
yeux du Directoire, et de tous les amis de la liberte en France. Vos 
lumieres, Citoyen Ministre, la connaissance personnelle que vous 
avez des Etats-Unis, vous mettent plus a meme que personne de 
juger les circonstances, et d'en tirer le parti le plus favorable aux 
interets et a la gloire de la nation. 
Salut et Respect. 

V. du Pont. 

Du Pont's strong arguments for avoiding war with the United 
States were fully appreciated by Talleyrand, who had already 
reached conclusions similar to those of his correspondent. 1 
He was quick to take advantage of the memoire. Elbridge 
Gerry, 2 who still remained in France, and other friendly 
Americans 3 were informed that the government had suddenly 
discovered that things were not as they should be in the West 
Indies, and that something would be done about it. Within 
a week Talleyrand sent a copy of Du Pont's letter to the Direc- 
tory, with the following report. 

mlnistere des relations exterieures. 
Rapport au Directoire Executif. 

Du 9 Thermidor an 6. 
[27 July, 1798.I 

Les arretes du Directoire Executif et les lois qu'il provoque, 
ont toujours un objet determine. Leur execution doit etre precise 
comme sa pensee. Si elle reste en deca ou est porte par dela, ce 
n'est plus lui qui gouverne; ce sont les agents subordonnes et souvent 
subalternes qui, substituant leurs vues aux siennes, amenent des 
resultats differents du bien qu'il s'est propose. 

et dans la sagesse, la dignite, la puissance, la moderation du Directoire." "Cor- 
respondance Politique, Etats-Unis," vol. 50, fol. 9. 

1 This is evident from his overtures to Gerry and Vans Murray, and his re- 
port of June 1, 1798, to the Directory. In this document Talleyrand argues that 
to declare war on the United States would be to fall into an Anglo-Federalist 
trap, and urges a policy of temporization in order to enable the French party to 
triumph in the coming elections. Archives Nationales, AF m 64, dossier 263. 

2 Talleyrand to Gerry, July 22, 1798, Wait's State Papers, m. 368. 

3 Richard Codman of Boston, one of the American colony of speculators in 
Paris, wrote Harrison Gray Otis, a leading Federalist congressman, on August 
26, that Du Pont's memoir had opened the eyes of the Directory, who now ap- 
peared anxious to redress America's grievances. S. E. Morison, H. G. Otis, 1. 168. 
John Adams afterwards wrote (Works, rx. 243) that Codman's letters had in- 
fluenced him toward peace. Du Pont also wrote articles against war with Amer- 
ica for the Paris press. Writings of J. Q. Adams, 11. 360-61. 


Le gouvernement n'a que trop a se plaindre encore de ce reste de 
tendance anarchique, et si le Directoire Executif s'occupe en general 
a le faire disparaitre, il y veille surtout lorsqu'il s'agit des interets 

Les mesures reflechies d'ou dependent la paix ou la guerre 
avec les nations 6trangeres, ne peuvent en effet etre modifiees 
arbitrairement dans leur execution sans les plus graves incon- 

Penetre" de cette v£rite, le Ministre des Relations Exterieures 
croit devoir se hater de mettre sous les yeux du Directoire Executif 
la co pie d'un rapport que vient de lui faire V Ex-Consul charge du Con- 
sulat General pres des £tats-Unis. Cette piece demande toute son 
attention. II y verra quel etrange abus a ete fait a son insu dans les 
mers d'Amerique principalement, des lois et arretes qui autorisent 
dans des cas specifics l'arrestation des neutres en general et des 
Am6ricains en particulier. 

La connaissance de ces exces explique enfin la fermentation que 
le cabinet britannique a trouve moyen de faire eclater dans les 
ports des fitats-Unis, pour achever d'entrainer dans ses vues un 
gouvernement aigri qu'il a mis dans sa dependance. On concoit 
aujourd'hui ce mouvement soudain imprime a une partie du peuple 
americain, et par lui communique a une majorite de ses represen- 
tants. On ne doit plus etre etonne que le President soit parvenu a 
faire adopter des mesures repressives. II y a meme lieu de craindre 
que le cabinet britannique ne reussisse a decider une guerre qui est 
presque sa derniere ressource. 

La sagesse du Directoire Ex6cutif Fa mis au-dessus des provoca- 
tions du gouvernement americain, et lui a fait ouvrir de nouvelles 
voies de conciliation. Mais il n'est pas moins instant de faire cesser 
les causes de la fermentation introduite parmi le peuple des Etats- 

II faut regarder comme actes legaux, les arrestations fondees sur 
les lois et arretes existants; et aussi longtemps que le systeme actuel 
a l'egard des neutres, sera juge necessaire, laisser en negociation, 
entre la France et les £tats-Unis, la partie de leurs plaintes qui tient 
a ce systeme. Mais les depredations, les pirateries, les violations 
de territoire sont des actes illegaux que le gouvernement francais 
ne peut avouer. 

Le Ministre des Relations Exterieures doit se borner a exposer 
les faits au Directoire Executif. C'est aux Ministres de la Marine 
et de la Justice a concerter les remedes et une copie du rapport du 
conseil est adressee a chacun d'eux. 1 

1 Unsigned draft, "Correspondance Politique, fitats-Unis," vol. 50, fol. 131. 


The ministers of Justice and of the Marine supported Tal- 
leyrand's conciliatory policy, 1 and within a few days the Direc- 
tory met his wishes by promulgating the arrete of the 13 ther- 
midor an 6 (31 July, 1798). 2 This adopted one of Du Pont's 
suggestions by annulling all existing colonial letters of marque, 
and ordering the French colonial agents to reissue such docu- 
ments only to responsible persons. Talleyrand's influence on 
the wording of this decree is shown by the following note in 
his hand to the President of the Directory, accompanying a 
rough draft of the arrete among the Directory's minutes: 3 

Citoyen President, — Je viens de lire avec toute l'attention 
dont je suis capable Parrete relatif aux armements en courses et 
aux prises. Mon opinion est qu'il produira le meilleur effet: il me 
parait et bien concu et bien redige. Je desirerais seulement qu'en 
l'article 3 au lieu des mots ties neutres on mit possessions neutres. 
II y a des agents sur le continent americain comme dans les iles 
d'Amerique, et il importe d'eviter que les premiers ne se croient 
exceptes. Salut et respect. 

Ch. Mau. Talleyrand. 
14 Thermidor, An VI. 

Je crois que la publication de cet arrete ne saurait etre trop 
prompte. 4 

The sincerity of this decree was stoutly denied by Picker- 
ing, the American Secretary of State, in his report of January 
31, 1799. But it was featured by the Democratic press as 
proof of French amity, and undoubtedly had the favorable 
effect upon neutral opinion in America that Talleyrand in- 
tended. It was the principal text upon which President Adams 
based his spectacular change of policy a few weeks later, which 
led to reconciliation with France. By respecting Du Pont's 
advice, the Directory made it impossible for the Hamiltonian 
wing of the Federalist party to force a war with France, 

1 " Correspondance Politique, fitats-Unis," vol. 50, fols. 132-34. Volney un- 
doubtedly added his weight to Du Pont's and Talleyrand's with his friend the 
Director La Revelliere-Lepeaux, whom he saw soon after landing. Annates 
Revolutionnaires, 111. 187-88. 

2 Wait's State Papers, in. 370. 

8 Archives Nationales, AF m 535, dossier 3533, no. 58. 

4 Murray, at The Hague, received a copy of the decree from Pichon, August 
9. Letters of Vans Murray, Report of the American Historical Association, 191 2, 

1915.] LETTER OF JOSEPH HAWLEY, 1 780. 79 

strengthened the Democratic opposition, and gained time for 
the peaceful acquisition of Louisiana from Spain. 

Professor Bassett communicated the following paper by 
Major Joseph Hawley (17 23-1 788), declining an election to 
the Senate of Massachusetts. 1 The original, a copy or draft in 
Major Hawley's handwriting, is in the possession of Prof. John 
Tappan Stoddard, of Northampton, Mass. 

From Joseph Hawley. 

To the Honorable the Senate of Massachusetts: 

May it please your Honours, — The intelligence given me by 
the writ of summons under the hand of the President of the Council; 
that I am chosen a Senator by a majority of the Voters of the County 
of Hampshire affords me a singular pleasure on two accounts. The 
one is that an election to that high trust by a majority of the un- 
solicited suffrages of the voters of the County is a genuine proof of 
the good opinion of the people of my dear County. The other is, 
that fair occasion that it gives me to bear a free and public testi- 
mony against one part of our glorious constitution. I style it 
glorious, altho', I humbly conceive it has several great blemishes, 
on account whereof it will, untill corrected, be liable in my poor 
opinion to very weighty exceptions; but still it remains glorious on 
account of the great quantity of excellent matter contained in it. 
That part of the Constitution this event enables me not imperti- 
nently to except is the Condition or term which Constitution holds 
every one to, who has the honor to be elected a member of the 
General Court of Massachusetts before he may (as is expressed in 
the Constitution) proceed to execute the duties of his place. Be the 
person ever so immaculate and exemplary a Christian; altho', he 
has in his proper place, that is, in the Christian Church, made a 
most solemn, explicit, and public profession of the Christian Faith, 
tho' he has an hundred times, and continues perhaps every month 
in the year, by participating in the Church of the body and blood of 
Christ practically recognized and affirmed the sincerity of that 
Profession, yet by the Constitution he is held, before he may be 
admitted to execute the duties of his office to make and subscribe 
a profession of the Christian Faith on declaration that he is a Chris- 
tian. Did our Fathers Confessors imagine, that a man who had 
not so much fear of God in his heart, as to restrain him from act- 

1 The paper is mentioned by Trumbull, History of Northampton, 11. 541, and 
by Bancroft, History, v. 155, but has not been printed in full in readily acces- 
sible form. 


ing dishonestly and knavishly in the trusts of a Senator or Repre- 
sentative would hesitate a moment to subscribe that declaration? 
Cut bono then is the Declaration? 

This extraordinary not to say absurd condition, brings fresh to 
my mind a passage in the life of the pious learned and prudent Mr. 
John Howe one of the strongest pillars of the dissenting interest in 
the reign of Charles the 2nd and James the 2nd. 1 The history is as 
follows, that Mr. Howe waiting upon a certain Bishop, his Lordship 
presently fell to expostulating with him about his nonconformity. 
Mr. Howe told him he could not have time without greatly tres- 
passing on his patience to go through the objections he had to make 
to the terms of Conformity. The Bishop pressed him to name any 
one that he reckoned to be of weight. He thereupon instanced in the 
point, reordination. Why pray, Sir, said the Bishop what hurt is 
there in being twice ordained? Hurt, my Lord, says Mr. Howe to 
him; the thought is shocking; it hurts my understanding. It is an 
absurdity for nothing has two beginnings. I am sure said he I am a 
minister [of] Christ and I am ready to debate that matter with your 
Lordship if you please; and I cannot begin again to be a minister. 

Besides this term of executing the duties of the Place is against 
common right and (as I may say) the natural Franchise of every 
member of the Commonwealth, who has not by some crime or de- 
liction forfeited his natural Rights and Franchises. It moreover 
reduces the ninth article of the Declaration of Rights to a mere 
futility and in such a connection it would be for the reputation of 
the declaration of rights if that same ninth article was wholly ex- 
punged. More than that the said condition is plainly repugnant to 
the first great article of the said Declaration. I am ready to debate 
that matter with any Doctor who assisted in framing the Constitu- 
tion either in convention or without doors. The said Declaration 
of Faith to be subscribed which constitutes the said impolitick and 
unrighteous condition will I believe ever sound in every good ear 
almost as unearthly as the Sessional Justice's famous charge to the 
standing Grand Jury. Let us hear them successively. I do declare 
that I believe the Christian Religion and have a firm persuasion of 
its truth; and that I am seized and possessed in my own right of 
the property required by the Constitution. Gentlemen of the Grand 
Jury, you are required by your oath to see to it, that the several 
towns in the County be provided according to Law with 
Pounds and Schoolmaster, Whipping posts and Ministers. Each 
containing an odd jumble of sacred and profane; but to me the 
charge gingles best: By the Constitution of the Commonwealth of 

1 See Dictionary of National Biography, xxvin. 85. 


Massachusetts I am, may it please your Honors one of the Senators 
and I am strongly disposed according to my poor abilities, to execute 
the duties of my office but [by] the unconscionable not to say dis- 
honorable terms established by the same constitution, I am barred 
from endeavouring to perform these duties. I have been a pro- 
fessed Christian nearly 40 years, and altho I have been guilty of 
many things unworthy of that character whereof I am ashamed; 
yet I am not conscious that I have been guilty of anything wholly 
inconsistent with the truth of that profession. The laws under 
the first charter required of the subjects of that State in 
order to their enjoying some privileges that they should be mem- 
bers in full communion of some Christian Church. But it never 
was before required in the Massachusetts Bay that a subject in 
order to his enjoying or exercising any Franchise or office should 
make profession of the Christian Religion before a temporal court. 
May it please your honors, 

We have all heard of a Lieut. Govr. of the Massachusetts Bay 
and some of us have known him very well who contended long and 
earnestly that he had a right to a seat in council without a voice. 

I imagine I can maintain a better argument than he did, that I 
have a right to a seat in the Senate of Massachusetts without a 
voice, but at present I shall not attempt to take it. 

I am, may it please your Honors, with the greatest respect to 
the Senate, Your most obedient humble servant, 

Joseph Hawley. 

Octr. 28th, 1780. 

Letters of Rufus King. 

Of the following letters of Rufus King, the three addressed 
to Jonathan Jackson are given by Mrs. Frederick C. Shattuck; 
the fourth, addressed to Dr. Kilham is supplied by Mr. Charles 
Moore, of Detroit, Michigan, from the original in the posses- 
sion of Miss Susan Rose Dodge, of Summit, New Jersey. 

Rufus King to Daniel Kilham. 1 

Boston, 18 February, 1784. 

Dear Kilham, — By the Gazette you learn that the def . Treaty 
is at last ratified by Congress: 2 the General Court are now agitat- 

1 Daniel Kilham (1 753-1841) was a member of this Society from 1798 to 1830, 
when he resigned. See Allen, History of Wenham, 145. 

2 The Treaty was ratified by the Continental Congress, January 14, 1784, 
and proclamation was at once made. Secret Journals, in. 433. 


ing the propriety and calculating the expense of some public ex- 
hibition of joy accompanying the proclamation of the peace com- 
pleted. Some say it has become an old story, others reply, that, 
granting the Fact, it wall still bear telling again and again: how the 
question will be determined is perhaps immaterial, but the spirit 
which governs very generally here is very pitiful and I fear will 
prove prejudicial. 1 Notwithstanding a liberality of sentiment upon 
some subjects and a general toleration of almost all opinions, ex- 
cepting political, prevails, is it certain that there is not a great deal 
to be corrected? The ability of the country is substantial — her 
debts are trivial; but there is a parsimony, which many in office call 
Republicanism, that casts an ill feature upon all public Doings. 
This mistaken sentiment of political economy, checks all public 
grants to the Servants of Government, and in effect, discourages 
men of abilities from qualifying themselves for national depart- 
ments; of consequence, the State is badly served: When Justice is 
withheld from those who have ably and faithfully served the pub- 
lic, little is to be expected from such a Government in favor of the 
Arts and Sciences, and the prevailing spirit above referred to, I 
fear, will wholly suppress an institution which I could wish at least 
attempted — I mean that of a Botanical Garden at Cambridge. 

By a letter from St. John, the French Consul at New York, ad- 
dressed to President Willard, of Dart' Holyoke, as Pres. of the 
Academy, it appears that the King of France in aid of such an in- 
stitution has directed his minister to communicate to the University 
at Cambridge, in Massachusetts, that, as a testimony of the re- 
spect he bears to that University and to enable them to effect a 
purpose ornamental, as well as beneficial, he will (by their permis- 
sion) cause to be sent and transported to them annually, at the 
proper season, free from every charge, the annual seeds and plants 
of his own Royal Gardens of every description. No answer has 
been yet made. 2 It strikes many persons agreeably, and it is sup- 
posed that the purpose would be very extensively practical at 
Cambridge. Amongst a few friends I have heard the subject can- 
vassed, and my own sentiments have been flattered in the frequent 
observation of others, that should the institution be attempted, it 

1 A celebration took place February 27. An account of it is in the Independent 
Chronicle, March 4, 1784. Some "paintings" or transparencies on political sub- 
jects, by Samuel King, were shown, probably gross caricatures. They were 
shown on the balcony of Col. John Marston, State Street, and at the Philadel- 
phia Coffee House by Capt. David Porter. 

2 The offer was not accepted. "The embarrassments of the period," says 
Quincy. "both political and financial, afforded an ample apology for the rejec- 
tion of these applications." History of Harvard University, n. 267. 


would be most safely trusted to your protection and guidance. 
Could a fund be established that would give an independent annuity 
to a man of Genius and letters, for his attention to such an institu- 
tion, I should feel most happy in seeing you in such a character. 
I have some sentiments upon the practicability that I will waive 
until we meet; perhaps the matter is not so Utopian as you may 
imagine. I am anxious to attempt something for the medical pro- 
fession; I wish, although it is small, that it may succeed — some- 
thing like a General infirmary at Cambridge, to be under your care, 1 
etc. This last idea you will receive in confidence. Should you meet 
with my good Parson Bass, 2 congratulate him for me on this intelli- 
gence, viz: "His Holiness the Pope 3 has caused to be written to 
Congress, a letter congratulatory upon the peace and independence 
of the United States and, to convince them of the sincerity of his 
congratulations, informs, that as the English Church have a special 
union with their Civil Government in the King of the one being 
ahead of the other, and as a difficulty from that source may be in 
the way of a regular ordination of Ministers of the Gospel in the 
United States thro' the English Bishops, he offers to ordain such 
person or persons as Congress shall designate as Bishop or Bishops 
in the United States, by the true Apostolic imposition of hands, 
and agreeable to such ritual as Congress may adopt." This in- 
formation is true. I expect in a few days, a copy of the letter. But 
your patience nor friendship can be no apology for me, in adding, 
except, that I am, with the utmost sincerity your friend and humble 
serv. Rtjftjs King. 

Rufus King to Jonathan Jackson. 

New York, 22 April, 1786. 
Dear Sir, — Whether your foreign correspondence has furnished 
you with two arrets of the King of France, one of the 18. and the 

1 Dr. Kilham was never connected with Harvard University or any infirmary 
in Cambridge. 

2 Edward Bass (1726-1803), of the Episcopal Church and later Bishop of 

3 Pius VI. No mention of such a letter is in the printed Journals of the 
Continental Congress. Mr. John C. Fitzpatrick, of the Manuscripts Division, 
Library of Congress, to whom the question was made, writes : " Everything points 
to the fact that King is referring to a letter of July 28, 1783, from the Papal 
Nuncio at Paris to Franklin, enclosing a note on the subject of an Apostolic 
Delegate to the United States. You will find this letter of transmittal and 
the enclosed note in Wharton's Diplomatic Correspondence of the American Revo- 
lution, vi. 614; but King's information was not entirely correct, as the congrat- 
ulatory sentences are not present. It does not seem to us possible that there 
is another letter meant by King than this. The original is in the Department 
of State, Washington." 


other of the 25. of September last relative to the cod Fishery, or 
if you possess them, whether their operation will in any degree affect 
your mercantile arrangements, I am unable to determine; if your 
individual interest is not concerned, that of some of your friends 
may be, and as these Regulations may not be within your or their 
knowledge, I find a sufficient apology in communicating to you the 
substance of them. 

The arret of the 18th of September grants a bounty of ten livres 
the quintal upon all dried cod Fish the produce of the french Fishery 
and introduced into the French West Indies in French bottoms 
navigated by the King's subjects; and five livres the quintal upon 
all such Fish introduced in like manner into any of the Ports of 
Portugal, Spain, or Italy; the arret of the 25th of September im- 
poses a Duty of five livres the quintal upon all dried cod Fish im- 
ported in the French West Indies, by any stranger, or in any foreign 

These arrets are now translating in the office of foreign Affairs. 
I will transmit to you copies of them as soon as they are finished. 
The policy of these measures is most obvious, and ought to be a 
new motive with the several States to vest the power of regulating 
commerce in some body governed by a single will, and whose au- 
thority would be sufficient to reciprocate these disadvantages to 
the power imposing them. 

At the same time that France adopts these measures to encourage 
her cod Fishery, and thereby establishes her marine; she is desirous 
of promoting the whale Fishery of America, lest England, her most 
powerful Rival, should exclusively possess it. The facility lately 
given to the introduction of Whale oil into France originates in 
this principle; and in consequence of the Relaxation of the French 
laws in favor of strangers, England may continue her Duty upon 
foreign oils, and yet we shall not want a good market for ours. A 
number of Papers on this subject, and relating to the contract of 
Mr. Barret, 1 which I received from Mr. Adams by the last British 
Packet, I shall transmit by this post to Mr. Tracy, 2 and beg leave 
to refer you to them for the information they contain; a paragraph 
in one of the letters of the M. de la Fayette mentions the proba- 
bility of the completion of the contract proposed by Mr. Tracy for 
the supply of Naval Stores. I most heartily wish its accomplish- 
ment, because I conclude it will be advantageous. 

1 Nathaniel Barrett. 

2 Nathaniel Tracy. The firm of Jackson, Tracy and Tracy had become in- 
volved, and Jonathan Jackson and Nathaniel Tracy had gone to Europe in their 
ship Ceres, to arrange with their creditors. Thomas Jefferson went as passenger 
on this voyage, having been appointed Minister to France. 


I intended to have presented to you and Mr. Tracy my congratula- 
tions upon your safe return from Europe, but indispensable engage- 
ments having delayed it for some weeks after that event, I found 
myself out of time, and therefore neglected what I wished, and 
ought to have done. I thank you for your polite letter by Mr. 
Emery, and hope that ere long he will be entirely satisfied on the 
subject of his memorial to congress ; It will always afford me pleas- 
ure to promote your views or those of your friends. 

I intreat you to present my most respectful compliments to Mrs. 
Jackson. I was rejoiced a few days since by hearing that her health 
is better than for some time past it has been. I hope it will con- 
tinue to improve. I flatter myself with the idea of paying my per- 
sonal respects to you both in the early part of the approaching 

With perfect consideration I have the honor to be, Dear Sir, your 
obedt. and very h'ble servt. 

Rufus King. 

Rufus King to Jonathan Jackson. 

New York, ii June, 1786. 

Dear Sir, — I intended sooner to have replied to yours of the 
10th ult. but have been disappointed from post to post until this 
time. I wish, most sincerely, that your opinions concerning the 
manners, and Government of our country were more general, than 
I think they are. The views of individuals are so various, and the 
imaginary interests of the States are so opposite, that without the 
Danger of some Evil that will affect each member of the Confed- 
eracy, a reasonable Hope cannot be indulged of a Reform. 

The situation of the federal Government is now critical; the au- 
thority of the confederation is found to be inadequate to bring 
money into the common Treasury, and the credit of the States is 
not sufficient to procure loans at home or abroad: indeed if the 
public credit was better, it could not, in my Judgment, be recon- 
ciled to the principles of common honesty to borrow, without fore- 
seeing the means of Repayment. 

In this condition every inconvenience, which can flow from a 
violation of national engagements, and a loss of national character, 
might justly fall on our Country. 

The embarrassments of commerce are better known to you than 
me. I cannot discover how the merchants of America, can bear a 
competition with Foreigners. No commercial nation will regret 
our disjointed condition, or wish the States to unite in any system 
of commerce. Every partizan of France or England residing among 


us, uses his utmost exertions to inspire the People of the different 
States with jealousies of each other; and some of them have even 
sounded the alarm that the liberties of the People were endangered 
by the plan of delegating additional powers to congress. 

How long the most valuable, and important, interests of the 
States, will continue to be sacrificed to these unfounded jealousies, 
cannot exactly be determined; but it is not possible that the public 
affairs can be in a much worse situation, and there is therefore con- 
solation in the reflection that they will not long remain as they are. 

I fear that the commercial convention proposed to be held in 
Maryland in September, will go but a little way in effecting those 
measures essentially necessary for the prosperity and safety of the 
States. Georgia and South Carolina have not appointed Delegates; 
and their legislatures will not be in Session before the winter. Mary- 
land has not appointed; although the convention is to be in that 
State. The Assembly of North Carolina have not elected Dele- 
gates, but it is said that the executive of that State has nominated 
persons for the office. It is doubtful what the real sentiments of 
Virginia are on the question of commercial powers. This is certain, 
that the proposition for the Annapolis convention, which originated 
in the Assembly of Virginia, did not come from the persons favorable 
to a commercial system common to all the States, but from those, 
who in opposition to such a general system have advocated the 
particular regulations of individual States. The merchants through 
all the States are of one mind, and in favor of a national system. 
The planters in the Southern States are divided in their opinions 
and it is to be feared that the majority is against the only plan, 
which can insure the prosperity and honor of the confederacy. 

Your ideas of the French Trade correspond with mine; their 
Farms, and Monopolies, are hostile to liberal commerce. How the 
experiment of American Oil will answer is very doubtful. The 
Marquis and Mr. Adams think that it will be a great acquisition 
to procure a longer time than January 1787 for the introduction of 
American Oil under the Reduction of Duties. The Duty exacted 
from strangers is 36 Livres, 15 Sous, the barrel of 500 lb. French 
weight. This Duty on the same quantity is reduced to 11 Livres, 
5 Sous or about 2 livres for every English hundred weight, on all 
American Oil imported before January 1787. 

This relaxation is stated to be an indulgence; but it ought how- 
ever to be remembered, that this sum is precisely the same as that, 
which is stipulated, in an ancient treaty between France and the 
Hanse Towns, to be paid on oil imported into France by the Han- 
seatic merchants, and consequently, since the Treaty between the 
United States and France gives to each the rights of the most 


favored nation, that the merchants of the former have a right to 
inport into France their Oil on the same terms as the Hanseatic 

The monopoly of Tobacco by the Farmers General was the sub- 
ject of the letter written by Mr. Jefferson, to which the Marquis 
alludes. I have taken an Abstract of the letter and will inclose it. 
It produced no beneficial effect; little attention was probably paid 
to it; the Reform would have affected the Farmers General, whose 
influence has been sufficient heretofore to shake a minister in his 

Mr. de Calonne at this time would be particularly careful to 
stand well with all men of influence about the court, being appre- 
hensive lest Necker should displace him, and again come into the 
Department of Finance. But it is time that I put an end to Poli- 
ticks. Mrs. King joins me in respectful compliments to Mrs. 
Jackson, and in sincere wishes that the present season may prove 
favorable to her health. Mr. and Mrs. Guild passed us to the South- 
ward without our knowledge, although I had learnt by a French 
Gentleman from Boston, some time before, that they were coming 
this way. Unfortunately Mrs. King was confined the two or three 
days they stayed here, on their return to Boston. They left us a 
few days since and I hope will arrive safe. Mr. Gerry and myself 
have strengthened our defence by the acquisition of our common 
friend Mr. Osgood. 1 I hope we shall be able to justify ourselves 
without calling in the Assistance of 'Advocates'; this would appear 
too much like countenancing "the Order." With sentiments of 
Respect, I have the honor to be, Dear Sir, Your most obedt. servt. 

Rufus King. 

Rufus King to Jonathan Jackson. 

New Yore, 3 Sep: 1786. 

Dear Sir, — Mr. Cabot's information relative to the Spanish 
commercial regulations is very satisfactory; I find it corresponds 
with the best accounts I have been able to collect on the subject, 
and Mr. Gardoqui himself confirms it. 

A Treaty with Spain is at this time a desirable Event; if the pres- 
ent situation is preferable to a rupture with Spain, a Treaty between 
us must not be long delayed. The boundaries of their and our terri- 
tories, remain to be ascertained; they claim extensive tracts of 
country within the limits of the United States as fixed by the Treaty 
of Peace and Friendship with Great Britain; we insist on the right 
of freely navigating the Mississippi from its source to the Ocean, 

1 Samuel Osgood (1748-1813). 


they deny this right and refuse us the navigation where both banks 
are in the possession of Spain. The rapid settlement of the western 
country, more particularly on the Ohio and that part of Georgia, 
which is adjacent to the Mississippi, urges a decision of these in- 
terfering claims and Pretensions. As Time is more favorable to 
young than old nations, policy would warrant delay — but these 
western adventurers will not suffer it. They at this time hold a bold 
language, are yearly making almost incredible accessions of strength, 
and their own particular interest is to them as to all others the active 
principle of their conduct. If therefore our disputes with Spain are 
not settled, we shall be obliged either wholly to give up the western 
Settlers or join them in an issue of Force with the Catholic King: 
the latter we are in no condition to think of, the former would be 
impolitic for many reasons, and cannot with safety be now admitted, 
although very few men who have examined the subject will refuse 
their assent to the opinion that every Citizen of the Atlantic States, 
who emigrates to the westward of the Allegany is a total loss to our 

Nature has severed the two countries by a vast and extensive 
chain of mountains, interest and convenience will keep them sepa- 
rate, and the feeble policy of our disjointed Government will not 
be able to unite them. For these reasons I have ever been opposed 
to encouragements of western emigrants. The States situated on 
the Atlantic are not sufficiently populous, and loosing our men, is 
loosing our greatest Source of Wealth. 

But what is wealth in Governments imperfect as ours are? In- 
deed, my Dear Sir, your opinions on this subject are but too well 
founded, and you may be assured that the ablest and most discern- 
ing men in these states, are anxiously affected with the Difficulties 
which you so feelingly and properly describe. What can be done 
is the question. The answer is various. Some say, and the opinion 
is extensive, infuse a new portion of strength into the confedera- 
tion and all will be well. But it should be remembered that the 
pressure of a common Calamity which induced the present con- 
federation is now removed, that the individual States are governed 
by their particular interests. These stand, or are supposed to stand, 
in opposition to each other, and, so long as the idea obtains, will 
prevent Unanimity in any opinion concerning the corroboration of 
the Federal Constitution. 

Others, and by no means the least respectable, answer, that 
nothing can be done in our present form; that the Error lies in the 
original plan. Diminish say they the number of States, let those 
which are to be established be nearly equal, reform their Constitu- 
tions, give their Governments more energy, the Laws more stabil- 


ity, the magistrates greater authority and responsibility, let the 
State Governments be confined to concerns merely internal: and 
let there be a federal Government with a vigorous Executive, wise 
Legislative, and independent Judicial. They tell you that a league 
or confederation between so many small, and unequal, Sovereign- 
ties never did, or can, answer the views of its Patrons. They illus- 
trate, by affirming that the Greek Republics were finally melted 
down, and united, under one Head — that in France and Spain, 
which were formerly each divided into as many independent States 
or Sovereignties as they now contain Provinces, the People did not 
find their happiness in these small divisions, but sought it under 
their present form — that the Heptarchy, or seven Saxon King- 
doms, of England were finally united by Egbert, and that peace 
and happiness then succeeded to treasons, insurrections, and wars, 
which made up the history of that famed Confederacy. 

It must not be understood that these remarks authorize an opinion 
that a monarchy would promote the happiness of the people of 
America — far, very far from it. But they show this; if wise and 
prudent men discerning the imperfections of the present Govern- 
ments, do not in season and without fear, propose suitable remedies, 
the causes which changed the Governments alluded to may, and 
probably will, change those of America. Since a convention must 
assemble at Annapolis I am glad that Delegates will attend from 
Massachusetts. I hope extraordinary as the measure is, that it 
may issue more favorably than I have ever expected. 

Neither Chancellor Livingston nor Mr. Duane will attend; they 
are very little concerned in the politics of the present times. Mr. 
Madison of Virginia has been here for some time past, he will attend 
the convention. He does not discover or propose any other plan 
than that of investing congress with full powers for the regulation 
of commerce foreign and domestic. But this power will run deep 
into the authorities of the individual States, and can never be well 
exercised without a federal Judicial. The reform must necessarily 
be extensive. 

I will not add on these subjects — we must wait events. I hoped 
long before this to have been in Boston with Mrs. King. But we 
are yet to be delayed. Mr. Sedgwick left us a few days since on 
account of his health. I can not break up the representation of the 
State, which would be the case in my absence. I wait the return of 
Mr. Dane. Be pleased to present my respectful compliments to 
Mrs. Jackson, and be assured that I am with high Respect* Dear 
Sir, your obt. and very humble servt. 

Rufus King. 


C. Savage to Samuel Savage. 

Baltimore January 23, 1809. 

Dr father, — I have written you from the Capital, and now only 
advise you that the embargo is to come off in June next. 1 What 
will be the measur.e next adopted by our knowing administration, 
I dont calculate; but am induced to think we shall have no war 
wth England; tho' we probably shall have a temporary non- 
intercourse. Mr. Jefferson says the people of our state conduct 
singularly. I think they will soon conduct in plurality, at least as 
respects the embargo. Have just got accounts tis coming off very 
fast Eastward. Am glad of it. I go to Philadelphia this day, 
where I shall tarry 48 hours and then home as fast as I can. I wish 
you may be at Boston when I get there. I could tell you consider- 
able of the world here; but I don't think 't would afford you much 
pleasure, or advance your opinion favouring it. Yesterday I dined 
with Gen'l [Henry] Dearborn and lady — who is a foolish woman. 
Gen'l Smith of N C, 2 Mrs. Madison and sister, and others; spent 
last evening at the Comptrollers, Mr. Duvall, who are the ton at 
Washington]. Every lady but Mr. Jefferson's were there. Indeed 
I have enjoyed the society of all the distinguished characters there, 
and on the whole am able to determine much of their characters. 
Jefferson received me politely and conversed with me half an hour. 
He is the only man I have expressed my political sentiments to 
while there, and that was in consequence of his erroneous belief as 
relates to our general sentiments respecting the embargo in Massa- 
chusetts. He surprised me by his ignorance in those respects. He 
believes half the feds, in Boston favour the Em[bar]go. I told him 
instead of that 's being the case, the whole [of] the feds, and o-ioths 
of the demos, cursed the law. His eyes struck fire; he dropped the 
subject, after saying it must come off. The Vice president [George 
Clinton] is most outrageous against the Embargo. Says 't is damn- 
ing the principle of Republicanism. 

My best duty to Ma; love to all, your. aff. Son, 

C. Savage. 

1 "The House of Representatives passed last night a bill for the meeting of 
Congress on the 2 2d of May. This substantially decides the course they mean to 
pursue; that is, to let the embargo continue till then, when it will cease, and 
letters of marque and reprisal be issued against such nations as shall not then 
have repealed their obnoxious edicts. The great majority seem to have made 
up their minds on this, while there is considerable diversity of opinion on the de- 
tails of preparation; to wit: naval force, volunteers, army, non-intercourse, etc." 
Jeferson to Leiper, January 21, 1809. The New England and New York mem- 
bers, however, succeeded in having the embargo lifted on March 4. 

2 Benjamin Smith (1 750-1829), governor of North Carolina, and major general 
of militia, 1794-1810. 



4~C&uL>l*j Xl/(XAl/ 






Lucien Carr died at his home, No. 163 Brattle Street, Cam- 
bridge, Massachusetts, on January 27, 1915. He was born at 
Troy, Lincoln County, Missouri, December 15, 1829. His 
earliest paternal ancestor in this country was Captain William 
Carr, Gent., born June 13, 1707, died October 21, 1760. His 
son, Captain Walter Chiles Carr (born November 1, 1756, died 
December 5, 1838), married Elizabeth Chiles (born Novem- 
ber 7, 1755, died June 7, 1847). Their son, Charles Carr (born 
October 24, 1774, died January, 1869), married Elizabeth Todd 
(died October 30, 1863). Their son, Alfred W. Carr (born Feb- 
ruary 4, 1806, died September 15, 1831), married Elizabeth M. 
Graves (born September 16, 18 10, died January 6, 1886). Mr. 
Lucien Carr was their son. 

The Carrs originally settled in Virginia, then crossed the 
mountains into Kentucky, and finally Mr. Carr's father moved 
still further west into Missouri. Both of his grandfathers took 
part in the War of 181 2. 

Of Charles Carr it is related, "that in 18 12, when recruits 
were called for to fight the North Western Indians, he volun- 
teered and May 5, 18 13, at the battle of Fort Meigs he was taken 
prisoner and robbed of his hat and coat, was forced to ' run the 
gauntlet' into old Fort Maumee, then crumbling into ruin." 

Charles Carr in the face of 1500 armed savages in their war paint 
had given up all hope of his life when just at this critical moment 
an unpainted Indian of fine form and noble mien dashed through 
the old gate way of the Fort, mounted the broken wall and ad- 


dressed the Indians, especially the chief, who muttered some words, 
turned on his heel and strode away. The other Indians retired 
giving free passage to the river where boats were waiting to carry 
the prisoners to the British fleet at the mouth of Swan Creek, where 
now stands Toledo. 

The Indian who had saved Carr was Tecumseh. 

While Charles Carr thus escaped, Lucien Carr's maternal grand- 
father, Major Benjamin Graves, met a different fate at nearly the 
same time. At the battle of Frenchtown on the river Raisin he was 
taken prisoner by the Indians on January 23, 18 13, and carried off. 
He was never heard from again and probably was killed by the 
Indians in the general massacre which followed. 

For many years after his disappearance, his widow kept a 
light burning at a window of their home, to greet him in case of 
his return. 

Lucien Carr studied at a Jesuit college and graduated 
Bachelor of Arts at St. Louis University in 1846. Having 
marked literary ability he turned to journalism. His step- 
father, A. B. Chambers, owned the St. Louis Missouri Re- 
publican (subsequently The Republic) and from 1848 Mr. 
Carr became connected with that paper. In 1854 he married 
Miss Cornelia Louisa Crow, daughter of Wayman Crow, whose 
ancestors were officers in the War of the Revolution. A few 
years after his marriage Mr. Carr, at the instance of his step- 
father, who thought that editorial night work was undermining 
his health, gave up journalism, and for several years he lived 
in the country, devoting himself to study. After the outbreak 
of the Civil War, however, rural life in eastern Missouri was so 
precarious, not to say dangerous, that he returned to St. Louis. 

In 1867 he removed to Cambridge, which was his home for 
the rest of his life. Having early taken an interest in the study 
of the Indians and of American archaeology, he was soon recog- 
nized as an expert in that field, and after the establishment of 
the Peabody Museum he was closely associated with its work, 
serving as Assistant Curator of the Museum from 1877 to 
1894. During this period he pursued his investigation of the 
Indians, collected a great deal of material and published various 
papers and short monographs, which gave him high rank 
among the then few authorities on the subject. 

The titles of the more important of these publications ar§: 

1915.] LUCIEN CARR. 93 

"The Mounds of the Mississippi Valley Historically Consid- 
ered "; " Prehistoric Remains of Kentucky" (in collaboration 
with Professor N. S. Shaler); and the following pamphlets: 
"Exploration of a Mound in Lee County, Virginia"; "Obser- 
vations on the Crania from Stone Graves in Tennessee"; "The 
Mascoutins"; "The Food of Certain American Indians"; 
"Dress and Ornaments of Certain American Indians"; "The 
Position of Women (Social and Political) among the Huron 
Iroquois Tribes." 

Mr. Carr intended to present his material on the Indians in 
a single well-coordinated and digested work, which would, we 
may well believe, have ranked as authoritative; but he de- 
layed composition until the inertia of age had begun to creep 
upon him, and so, to the general regret of those who knew his 
capacity and his learning, he left behind him no monument at 
all adequate to his potentialities. 

To the series of American Commonwealths, published by 
Houghton, Mifflin and Company, he contributed in 1888 the 
volume on Missouri, which he was probably the person best 
fitted to write. For a quarter of a century or more he prepared 
for the New York Nation the notices or reviews of books on the 
Indians and allied topics. He was also a spirited contributor 
to the Nation of letters defending Southern customs and prac- 
tices, from the Southern point of view, and criticising with 
penetrating satire the shortcomings, inconsistencies and vices 
of the Massachusetts communities, from which then issued 
general condemnation of the South. Mr. Carr always took sat- 
isfaction in being an "unreconstructed Rebel." By inheritance, 
by environment and by his own choice, during his formative 
years, he was a Southerner, and he never gave up his loyalty to 
the institutions and ideals of the South. 

He was elected to this Society June 10, 1897, too late, un- 
fortunately, for him to contribute much to our Proceedings; 
for physical infirmity soon prevented him from attending the 
meetings. We lost much thereby. During many years before 
his death I urged him to set down his recollections of life in 
Kentucky and Missouri and in other parts of the South before 
the war. No one else among us had had these experiences; no 
one else possessed such a store of anecdotes and reminiscences, 
which he told to his intimates with a vividness and a charm 


and a literary distinction almost unrivalled. His family con- 
nections and his journalistic contacts opened for him access to 
many Southern leaders ; and besides this personal acquaintance, 
as he grew up he imbibed traditions which too often vanish 

As a boy he followed the story of Kit Carson's exploits. He 
was a youth when the Mormon settlement at Nauvoo was 
broken up and Joseph Smith was killed and he heard from 
eyewitnesses (as he has told me) reports of Smith's miracles, 
including the raising of a corpse to life. As correspondent in 
Washington of the Missouri Republican during President 
Taylor's administration, he saw the great leaders of the 
generation that was passing away — Webster, Clay, Calhoun 
— and those who were coming forward to shape the events 
which led to the Civil War. So long a span of historical 
interests was covered by his life. 

He was a member of numerous societies besides our own: 
the Missouri Historical Society; American Antiquarian So- 
ciety; American Academy of Arts and Sciences; the Anthro- 
pological Society of Washington; the Anthropological Society 
of Paris; the Anthropological Society of Moscow; the An- 
thropological Society of London. 



THE stated meeting was held on Thursday, the 9th in- 
stant, at three o'clock, p.m.; the Vice-President, Mr. 
Rhodes, in the absence of the President, in the chair. 

The record of the last meeting was read and approved; and 
the Librarian reported the list of donors to the Library since 
the last meeting. 

The Cabinet-Keeper reported the following gifts and 
deposits : 

Photographs of four portraits by Copley, viz., of John Barrett, 
Mrs. Henry Hill, his daughter, Mrs. John Barrett, Benjamin Ger- 
rish, and of John Gerrish, his father, by Smibert, from Mr. Wendell. 
Lithographic views of the "Bombardment of Forts Jackson and 
St. Philip" and of "The First Battle of Bull Run," published by 
the J. Howard Brown Company, 1884, from Mr. Lodge. The 
Panama-Pacific badge of the American Numismatic Association, 
from Fred Joy, of Boston; the Edgar Allan Poe Medallion, 
made by Edith Woodman Burroughs and issued by the Grolier 
Club of New York, from Edward Percival Merritt; a medal, in 
silver and white metal, of the Boston Workhorse Relief Associa- 
tion, from the Association; two medals struck in honor of John 
E. Gilman as Commander-in-Chief, Grand Army of the Republic, 
from John E. Gilman; a medal of the Harvard Musical Clubs, 
from R. T. Fry, of Cambridge; a bronze medal of Milton, Mass., 
250th anniversary, 191 2, deposited by Nathaniel Thayer Kidder, 
of Milton; three Chinese banknotes, of the Ming Dynasty, from 
Andrew McFarland Davis, and a bust, in plaster, of Thomas 
Jefferson, by Sidney H. Morse, deposited by the Bostonian Society. 

The Editor reported the following gifts : 

From Charles P. Bowditch, a broadside issued in Massachusetts 
before the spring of 1863, "To Arms! To Arms!" 

From Dr. Frederick C. Shattuck, a transfer of stock in the Boott 
Cotton Mill, 1840, bearing signature of Henry Lee and a curious seal. 

From Prof. Aaron Nichols Skinner and Miss Eliza Trumbull 


Stickney, three letters of Simon Daby, of Shirley, to Ambrose Hale, 
and one from Ambrose and Mary Hale, 1 790-1802. 

Julius H. Tuttle, of Dedham, was elected a Resident Mem- 
ber of the Society. 

Mr. Wendell, for the committee to nominate a candidate 
for Vice-Presidency in place of the late Governor Long, re- 
ported the name of Winslow Warren, who was thereupon 
unanimously elected. Mr. Warren in brief remarks expressed 
his thanks to the members for the honor conferred upon him. 

Colonel Thomas L. Livermore read a paper, giving "A 
Narrative of the Appomattox Campaign." 

Mr. Spring read a paper on 

A Case of Church Discipline in the Berkshires. 

The Congregational church of Stockbridge, at a meeting on 
the 20th of January, 1777, voted that the deacons "be a com- 
mittee to admonish Lavina Deane to desist from prosecuting 
her proposed design of marrying one John Fisk until the 
church has such evidence respecting his moral character as 
shall satisfy them with regard to the propriety of a sister 
uniting with him in that relation." At the same meeting the 
church appointed another and larger committee — it was 
composed of five men — "to examine into the character of 
the said John Fisk." Mrs. Lavina Deane was a young, at- 
tractive and "affluent" Stockbridge widow and John Fisk a 
well-mannered, personable Stockbridge schoolmaster. It is 
not necessary to follow in detail the preliminary history of the 
affair, which may be summarized as follows: The committee 
of five on the schoolmaster reported adversely; the deacons 
failed to persuade Mrs. Deane to send him about his business, 
as she presently became Mrs. John Fisk, and the church 
promptly excluded her "from the communion . . . till she 
manifest a sense of her wickedness in marrying to Mr. Fisk and 
repentance of it." 

What was the matter with this Stockbridge schoolmaster 
that he should be matrimonially blacklisted in this astonish- 
ing fashion? While enemies may have assumed that he was 
an immoral man, the only charge against him that had any 
foundation whatever concerned his vocabulary, which his 


friends acknowledged did contain a few "airy words." He 
had been heard to say "I swear" and "damn it." And on 
some strenuous occasions, such, for example, as when the mes- 
sage of the church to his wife was received, he may have re- 
quested the Almighty to damn it. 

The excommunication was followed by two years of village 
talk and unrest — the particulars have been mostly lost. We 
know that John Fisk was at one time in a desperate frame of 
mind and thought it might be necessary for him to shoot the 
pastor of the church and possibly one or two of the deacons; 
but fortunately this heroic treatment of the case was not 
actually attempted. 

It is hardly surprising that the noise of the affair should have 
reached beyond Stockbridge into the neighboring towns, or 
that a prominent pastor in one of them — the Rev. Dr. Joseph 
Huntington of Coventry, Conn. — should have thought that 
Mrs. Fisk had been treated shamefully. In consequence of the 
agitation at home and abroad, and eighteen months after the 
vote of excommunication, it was agreed that the whole trouble- 
some matter should be submitted for review to an ecclesiastical 
council, which met at Stockbridge, January 13, 1779, with 
four clergymen and four laymen in attendance. This first 
council, feeling that its membership was too small to settle 
the important question before it, adjourned to May 19, when 
it reconvened and eleven clergymen and nine laymen were 
found to be present. After a session of two days there was a 
second adjournment and another session of the same length, 
beginning October 6. 

At these hearings the minister of the Stockbridge church — 
the Rev. Dr. Stephen West, ex-chaplain of Fort Massachusetts, 
subsequently vice-president of Williams College and author of 
Sketches of the Life of the Late Reverend Samuel Hopkins — aided 
by two assistants, appeared as its chief counsel. He insisted 
stoutly, and by no means briefly, that it was " a censurable crime 
in Mrs. Fisk to marry as she had done." For "the aggrieved 
party" the Rev. Dr. Huntington was spokesman, and he made 
an eloquent, impassioned plea. The whole controversy of 
course turned upon the character of the schoolmaster, and he 
did not neglect that point. "'We have made many enquiries 
this day in the face of this large assembly,' he declared in his 


address before the council. ' Is he a lewd person? a drunkard? 
a cheat? a liar? an enemy to his country? ' A profound silence. 
Not a word is heard." But there remained his vocabulary with 
the sprinkling of "I swears" and "damn its." What shall be 
said of that? It was brought out incidentally in the hearings 
that the schoolmaster had been a soldier in the colonial wars. 
Now the camp, as we know, promotes liberal habits of speech. 
"My uncle Toby" drew attention to this fact. "Our armies," 
he said, "our armies swore terribly in Flanders," and he might 
have included parts of North America in the sulphurous zone. 
If the Rev. Dr. Huntington had entered upon inquiries touch- 
ing the influence of the camp upon the vocabulary he could 
have cited the recent case of that great and good man George 
Washington who, meeting Charles Lee rather unexpectedly 
at Monmouth Court House one Sunday of the preceding June, 
called him "a damned poltroon." What if some traces of the 
schoolmaster's camp dialect survived the signing of the articles 
of the treaty of peace? But nothing which the Rev. Dr. Hun- 
tington said or might have said moved the ecclesiastical coun- 
cil, which concluded that the Stockbridge church had "ex- 
hibited an amiable, christian spirit in their conduct toward 
Mrs. Deane." 

This long-drawn-out case of parish discipline had a fierce 
little afterpiece. One of the two brethren who assisted Dr. 
West before the council was a newcomer in Stockbridge — the 
Rev. John Bacon, ex-pastor of the Old South Church, Boston. 
He was furious with the Rev. Dr. Huntington for meddling 
with Stockbridge parish affairs anyway and anxious to call him 
a fool in the most emphatic and telling manner possible. There 
was and still is a locution that would have served his purpose 
well, but neither the usage of his predecessors in the pastorate 
of the Old South Church nor present circumstances would war- 
rant his calling the Connecticut brother "a damned fool," 
so he dug up a phrase from Ecclesiasticus: "Yea also, when 
he that is a fool walketh by the way, his wisdom faileth, and 
he saith to every one that he is a fool." 

The Connecticut brother did not relish being called a fool 
of the Ecclesiasticus or any other brand and replied in a 
pamphlet with the title: A Droll, a Deist, and a John Bacon, 
Master of A rts, Gently Reprimanded. That word ' ' gently ' ' is very 

1915.] CASE OF HENRY SHARLOT, 1 68 1. 99 

much out of place in the title. The Reverend Doctor did not 
spare the ex-pastor. On the contrary, he declared him to be 
an impossible sort of man who set the Old South Church by 
the ears and every other church with which he had anything to 
do. The ex-pastor replied with an energy that would have done 
no discredit to Timon of Athens. The Rev. Dr. Huntington's 
conduct, he said, was "such as none but a little, vain, ma- 
lignant mind could ever descend to," and until he retracts his 
calumnies "I . . . publish him to the world as neither a man 
of truth nor a gentleman." Now all this pother, these numer- 
ous church meetings, this ecclesiastical council with its three 
sessions, months apart, and this no-quarter fight between the 
two divines, came about because a Stockbridge widow would 
marry a Stockbridge schoolmaster whose vocabulary needed 
a little pruning. 

Mr. Winship exhibited the manuscript records of the Com- 
pany for the Propagation of the Gospel in New England, from 
1655 to 1685. 

Mr. Wendell called attention to a small globe made in 
London in 1732, which he had placed on the table, and remarked 
upon the deficient geographical knowledge of the coast of 
America at that time — New York not being noted upon it. 

Mr. C. P. Greenough communicated original papers on 

The Experiences of an Irish Immigrant, 1681. 

When we consider that the governor of this state is an 
Irishman, that the mayor, the city solicitor, the auditor, the 
collector, the treasurer and the minor officials of Boston are 
Irishmen, it seems incredible that there should ever have been 
a time when an Irishman was treated with a marked lack of 
hospitality in Boston. That such was the fact, however, is 
shown by the contents of three original documents which I 
acquired some years ago. From them can be reconstructed 
the tragedy in all its details. The would-be immigrant was one 
Henry Sharlot, claiming to be a citizen of Dublin, Ireland, 
and the incident happened in August and September in the 
year 1681. Whether Sharlot was the first voluntary Irish 
immigrant to this state, I am not certain. He is the first of 
whom I find any record; but our late associate, William H. 


Whitmore, informed me that he had seen on a list of taxpayers 
prior to this date the words "the Irishman," but what Irish- 
man he was unable to discover. 

It appears from these documents that Henry Sharlot ar- 
rived in Boston some time early in August, 1681. It does not 
appear where he stayed in Boston, or how he came to Massa- 
chusetts. Apparently he did not come by sea, for there is no 
allusion to any report of his arrival by a sea captain to the 
governor, or to his presentation for examination under the 
governor's direction, required by the Act of October, 1675. 

To explain Mr. Sharlot's experiences you will remember 
that various laws were passed regulating the admission of 
strangers to this community. 

By the General Acts of 1637, amended at various times and 
reenacted in the General Laws of 1660, it was provided that 

No Town or person shall receive any stranger resorting hither 
with intent to reside in this jurisdiction, nor shall allow any lot or 
habitation to any, or entertain any such above three weeks, except 
such person shall have allowance under the hand of some one Mag- 
istrate . . . and of every person receiving any such, for longer time 
than is hereby allowed, except in case of entertainment of friends, 
resorting from other parts of this Country in amity with us, to 
forfeit as aforesaid not exceeding twenty pounds, nor less than four 
pounds, etc. 

By the Act of 1675 ft was a ^ so provided 

That account be taken of all straingers who are not his majestjes 
subjects, and that they remajne not in toune vnless security be 
given for their fidelity; and that none be admitted but vpon the 
like security, and that no master of any vessell bring in any without 
acquainting the Gouernor therewith, and presenting their persons 
in order to their examination; who if vpon their examination can 
give no good account of their business, and security for their good 
behaviour shall be sent to prison, vnless they doe forth with depart. 1 

What happened in detail to Mr. Sharlot we learn from one 
of the above-mentioned documents — his appeal to the Court 
of Assistants. It seems that he had been in Boston only a 
few days when he was summoned to appear before the select- 
men who examined him and apparently declined to consent 

1 Mass. Col. Records, v. 46. 

1915.] CASE OF HENRY SHARLOT, 1 68 1. 10 1 

to his settlement in Boston. There were several other hearings 
before the selectmen in August, but as a result they positively 
refused to allow him to stay in Boston. He then prevailed, 
he says, upon some friend, whose name however he does not 
give, to apply in his behalf to the governor to obtain a permit 
from him to be allowed to inhabit the colony, but before he 
was able to procure this permit he was summoned by the Con- 
stable, Homes, in a " very unhandsome manner," as he called it, 
to appear before the commissioners of Boston, and he did so 
appear on the 1st day of September, and his case was heard by 
that body. This court was a somewhat unusual court, created 
by the Act of 1654, reenacted by the General Laws of 1658. 

It is ordered by the court and the authority thereof, that there 
be seven Freemen resident in Boston annually chosen by the Free- 
man of the said town and presented to the Court of Assistants, who 
hereby have power to authorize the said seven Freemen to be Com- 
missioners of the said town, to act in things committed to their 
trust, as is hereinafter expressed with power — or any five of them, 
or any three of them, with one Magistrate, to hear and determine 
all Civil Actions which shall be brought before them, not exceeding 
the sum of ten pounds, etc. 

It was further provided by the Act of 1675 tnat "The 
Commissioners and the Selectmen and Captains of Boston 
are ordered and required respectively to have a special care 
that this order in the several parts thereof be duly observed 
and attended. " 

This order refers to the Act of 1675, relating to the treat- 
ment of strangers. 

On the 30th of August, 1680, the town elected the following 
seven commissioners who, with the seven selectmen, con- 
stituted the court, viz.: Anthony Stoddard, Captain Thomas 
Brattle, John Joyliffe, Elisha Hutchinson, John Sanin, Captain 
John Walley and John Fairweather. Brattle and Joyliffe 
were also elected selectmen in March, 1681, together with 
Lieutenant Daniel Turell, Deacon Henry Allen, Lieutenant 
Theophilus Frary, Nathaniel Greenwood and John Marion, Sr. 1 

As there are several questions of fact in dispute between 
Mr. Sharlot and this court, as will hereafter appear, it might 

1 Boston Record Commissioners, vn. 141, 143. 


be well to give a short account of the lives and character of the 
various members of the court as a test, so to speak, of the 
credibility of the witnesses. 

Anthony Stoddard, the senior member, was probably as 
much respected as any man in Boston. Judge Sewall calls him 
"the Antientist Shop Keeper in Boston." He was a linen 
draper, was made a Freeman in 1640 and was elected to al- 
most every office in the gift of the inhabitants — a Constable 
(1641), Selectman many years from 1649, Deputy to the 
General Court in 1650, 1659-60, 1665-84, Recorder of Boston, 
Commissioner, Magistrate — a Puritan ingrained. 

Thomas Brattle, the Treasurer of Boston, Moderator at 
Town Meetings, Commissioner, Deputy to General Court 
(1671-72), (1678-9), one of the founders of Old South Church. 

John Joyliffe, Selectman for many years, Commissioner 
(1674-91), Recorder of Boston (1656), Councillor, and took 
an active part in the Revolution of 1689. 

Elisha Hutchinson, Chief Justice of Court of Common 
Pleas, member of Artillery Company (1660), Captain (1676), 
Representative (1680-83), and Councillor (1684-1717). 

John Saffin, Selectman (1653), Representative (1684-86), 
Speaker of House (1686), Councillor (1693), and judge of 
the Massachusetts Supreme Court (1701). 

John Walley, judge of Supreme Court (1700-17 n), one of 
the so called " Witch Judges," a general in the Massachusetts 
Army, commanding the expedition against the French and 
Indians in 1689, and second in command under Phips in 1690, 
Member of the Council (1689), Captain of Ancient and Hon- 
orable Artillery (167 1), and Colonel of Suffolk Regiment. 

Henry Alline or Allen, a joiner, a Freeman in 1648, Select- 
man, Deacon, and Representative (1674). 

Theophilus Frary, a cordwainer, Representative (1689-95 
and 1699), Selectman, Moderator, Captain of Ancient and 
Honorable Artillery, Deacon and a founder of Old South 

John Fayerweather, Freeman (1673), Captain of Militia, 
Constable and Commissioner, Representative (1684), and in 
command of the Castle in the Revolution of 1689. 

Daniel Turell, a blacksmith, Selectman, Member of Artillery 
Company, and Freeman (1669). 

1915.] CASE OF HENRY SHARLOT, 1 68 1. 103 

Nathaniel Greenwood and John Marion, Selectmen and 
Freemen, and business men of Boston. 

It would have been impossible to constitute a more represen- 
tative and substantial court than this. 

It appears that they heard Mr. Sharlot's case on Septem- 
ber 1, and according to his version they used "very unkinde 
language and threatenings " toward him. If such language 
was used by anyone, it must have been by the selectmen, as 
the law of 1658, creating the court, expressly provides that 
"there shall be none admitted to be a Commissioner for any 
town in this jurisdiction, but such whose conversation is in- 
offensive/' etc. 

On the 2d of September he was again summoned before 
the commissioners, and having refused to give a bond to de- 
part from Boston in three weeks, was arrested under the 
order of Anthony Stoddard and committed to prison. 

The original order of imprisonment reads as follows: 

To the Keeper of the Prison in Boston. 

You are in his Majtes name Requiered heerwith to Recev the 
body of Mr. Henry Sherlett and him to keep in safe Custody being 
a Strainger and none of his Majtes Subjects, having [the] liberty 
granted him by Authority, vpon Security to abide heer [three] weeks 
and then to depart hence which he Refuseth and appeals from said 
Sentance, for which [this] shal be your sumtiant warrant, dated 
Boston Septr. 2: 1681. 

Anthony Stoddard, Commissioner. 

He remained in jail several days and on the 6th of September, 
1 68 1, appealed, as he had the right to do under the statutes 
of 1658, from the decision of the Commissioners Court to the 
Court of Assistants, which was then in session; on the same 
day he filed his reasons of appeal, which appear in the follow- 
ing document: 

To the Right Honourable Simond Bradstreet Governour and 
The Honoured Magistrates Now Assembled In the Honoured Court 
of Assistance in Boston the 6th of Sept. 1681 The Humble Peti- 
tion of Henry Sherlott a poore disstresed strainger and prisnor. 

Humbly Sheweth 

Whereas your petitioner being lately arrived from the Kingdome 
of Ireland, to this your Towne of Boston, and some small time after 


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1915.] CASE OF HENRY SHARLOT, 1681. 103 

Nathaniel Greenwood and John Marion, Selectmen and 
Freemen, and business men of Boston. 

It would have been impossible to constitute a more represen- 
tative and substantial court than this. 

It appears that they heard Mr. Sharlot's case on Septem- 
ber 1, and according to his version they used "very unkinde 
language and threatenings " toward him. If such language 
was used by anyone, it must have been by the selectmen, as 
the law of 1658, creating the court, expressly provides that 
"there shall be none admitted to be a Commissioner for any 
town in this jurisdiction, but such whose conversation is in- 
offensive," etc. 

On the 2d of September he was again summoned before 
the commissioners, and having refused to give a bond to de- 
part from Boston in three weeks, was arrested under the 
order of Anthony Stoddard and committed to prison. 

The original order of imprisonment reads as follows: 

To the Keeper of the Prison in Boston. 

You are in his Majtes name Requiered heerwith to Recev the 
body of Mr. Henry Sherlett and him to keep in safe Custody being 
a Strainger and none of his Majtes Subjects, having [the] liberty 
granted him by Authority, vpon Security to abide heer [three] weeks 
and then to depart hence which he Refuseth and appeals from said 
Sentance, for which [this] shal be your suffitiant warrant, dated 
Boston Septr. 2: 1681. 

Anthony Stoddard, Commissioner. 

He remained in jail several days and on the 6th of September, 
1 68 1, appealed, as he had the right to do under the statutes 
of 1658, from the decision of the Commissioners Court to the 
Court of Assistants, which was then in session; on the same 
day he filed his reasons of appeal, which appear in the follow- 
ing document: 

To the Right Honourable Simond Bradstreet Governour and 
The Honoured Magistrates Now Assembled In the Honoured Court 
of Assistance in Boston the 6th of Sept. 1681 The Humble Peti- 
tion of Henry Sherlott a poore disstresed strainger and prisnor. 

Humbly Sheweth 

Whereas your petitioner being lately arrived from the Kingdome 
of Ireland, to this your Towne of Boston, and some small time after 


your petitioner abode here, he was sent for to appeare before seuerall 
Gentl. which as your petitioner is since Informed was the Towns- 
men of Boston; Vpon whome he did waite seuerall times, and they 
signifyed vnto him, they would not suffer him to abide as an In- 
habitant in your towne; Although should procure Bond according 
to law to secure the Towne from any charge. And your petitioner 
fmdeing himselfe thus agreiv'd by the Gentl. Townsmen aforesaid 
did apply himselfe vnto some freinds in Boston, to make there ap- 
plication with your petitioner vnto the Honoured Governor for his 
permitt to Inhabitt in the Collony. Which vpon there application 
was obtayned, and before your petitioner had oppertunity to pro- 
duce the same permitt unto the Townsmen your petitioner was Com- 
manded in a verry vnhandsome manner by the Consta. Homes to 
appeare before the Commissioners of Boston: where he mett with 
verry vnkinde language and threatnings vnless that your petitioner 
did the next morning which was the 2d Inst: procure security to 
depart the towne within 3 Weeks they would Committ your pet'r 
to Prison. Which carriage of theirs as also the Townsmens who 
had commanded that no persons should Entertaine him vpon 
penalty of Twenty shillings per Night did greatly distress your 
petitioner and occationed him to lye 2 Nights in your Townehouse. 
And vpon Fryday last the 2d. Inst. The Comissioners afforesaid 
sent for your petitioner in like manner by a Constable and did in 
language greatly provoke and urge your petitioner to give Bond to 
depart the Towne within 3 Weekes as afforesaid and did then not- 
withstanding the offer of good Security for your petitioners fidellity 
or what else the law requir'd Comitt your petitioner unto close prison 
Refuseing to grant any appeale though Bond tendred for that also. 
Therfore your poore petitioner Humbly craves your Honours seri- 
ous Consideration of his misserable condition, Being a stranger and 
expecting to meett with Civill Entertainment, a Subject of his 
Majesties Kingdome haueing taken the oath of Allegiance and liv'd in 
it many years in the Kingdome of Ireland a protestant and can pro- 
duce good Testimony of his Creditt and Civill deporttment in the Citty 
of Dublin, And there Bore armes for his Majesty of England which 
he hopes will prevaile with your Honours to Grant his Release and 
free admission into your Towne of Boston. Oblidgeing himselfe to 
be of good behaviour and giveing security for the same according 
to law, Which your Honours granting shall oblidge your petitioner 
for ever to pray for your Honours prosperity. „ % ~ 

In Ans'r to this peticon the Court Appoints the morrow after 
dinner to heare the peticoner and also to vnderstand from the Com- 
issioners the true Ground of the Complaint. 


1915.] CASE OF HENRY SHARLOT, 1 68 1. 105 

If your sympathies are at all likely to be aroused by this 
piteous tale, I would suggest that you wait until you hear the 
commissioners' answer to his appeal. Referring, however, to 
his comments upon the "unkinde and threatening language" 
of the court and the "unhandsome manners" of the constable, 
are we not sufficiently familiar with the national charac- 
teristics of the prisoner to know that some provocation at least 
must have been given by him to cause unkindness on the part 
of the court? The commissioners' answer would seem to estab- 
lish this fact. The commissioners filed this answer to the 
prisoner's appeal on Sept. 10, 1681: 

To the Honoured Court of Assistants now Assembled in Boston 
this 10th Day of Sept: 1681. 

Wee the Commissioners and Select men of the Town of Boston 
haveing in our Respective places Endeavoured to discharge our 
Duty according to the lawes for the Suppressing of vice And keep- 
ing out of the Town any person or persons as may be Noxious or 
prejuditiall to the same; And in particuler that Frenchman Named 
Henry Sherlott who goes under the title of A Danceing Master 
whom we (upon Examination and Enquiry) finde to be very Inso- 
lent, a person of ill fame (haueing been accused and prosecuted for 
committing a Rape in Ireland,) one that Raves and scoffs at Religion 
here of a turbulent Spirit, and is allready a meer Incendiary in this 
place, who by his many falsehoods and misrepresentations of mat- 
ters, hath Endeauored to make a party, there by to obtrude himself 
upon the Town Contrary to the Orders both of Town and Country; 
These things being of such Dangerous Consequence doth Incite 
us in the Discharge of our Duty to God, and the trust Committed 
to us, to informe this Honoured Court here of; Humbly praying your 
Honours Assistance herein, that according to your Wisdomes you 
will be pleased to take such Order that the said Sherlott may be 
Forthwith sent out not onely of the Town but Colony as a person 
not with safty to be Admitted amongst us; which in all Humellity 
is Offered By Your Honours most humble Servants 

Anthony Stoddard John Walley 

Tho: Brattle Henry Alline 

John Joyliffe Theophilus Frary 

Elisha Hutchinson Daniel Turrell 

John Saffin Nathaniell Greenwood 

John Fayerweather John Maryon 

I9I5 .] CASE OF HENRY SHARLOT, 1 68 1. 105 

If your sympathies are at all likely to be aroused by this 
piteous tale, I would suggest that you wait until you hear the 
commissioners , answer to his appeal. Referring, however, to 
his comments upon the "unkinde and threatening language'' 
of the court and the " unhandsome manners" of the constable, 
are we not sufficiently familiar with the national charac- 
teristics of the prisoner to know that some provocation at least 
must have been given by him to cause unkindness on the part 
of the court? The commissioners' answer would seem to estab- 
lish this fact. The commissioners filed this answer to the 
prisoner's appeal on Sept. 10, 1681: 

To the Honoured Court of Assistants now Assembled in Boston 
this 10th Day of Sept: 1681. 

Wee the Commissioners and Select men of the Town of Boston 
haveing in our Respective places Endeavoured to discharge our 
Duty according to the lawes for the Suppressing of vice And keep- 
ing out of the Town any person or persons as may be Noxious or 
prejuditiall to the same; And in particuler that Frenchman Named 
Henry Sherlott who goes under the title of A Danceing Master 
whom we (upon Examination and Enquiry) finde to be very Inso- 
lent, a person of ill fame (haueing been accused and prosecuted for 
committing a Rape in Ireland,) one that Raves and scoffs at Religion 
here of a turbulent Spirit, and is allready a meer Incendiary in this 
place, who by his many falsehoods and misrepresentations of mat- 
ters, hath Endeauored to make a party, there by to obtrude himself 
upon the Town Contrary to the Orders both of Town and Country; 
These things being of such Dangerous Consequence doth Incite 
us in the Discharge of our Duty to God, and the trust Committed 
to us, to informe this Honoured Court here of; Humbly praying your 
Honours Assistance herein, that according to your Wisdomes you 
will be pleased to take such Order that the said Sherlott may be 
Forthwith sent out not onely of the Town but Colony as a person 
not with safty to be Admitted amongst us; which in all Humellity 
is Offered By Your Honours most humble Servants 

Anthony Stoddard John Walley 

Tho: Brattle Henry Alline 

John Joyliffe Theophilus Frary 

Elisha Hutchinson Daniel Turrell 

John Saffin Nathaniell Greenwood 

John Fayerweather John Maryon 


Mr. Sharlot's description of his own actions and character 
seems to differ essentially from that entertained by the mem- 
bers of the court. If their information about him was correct 
he would seem to be a most undesirable citizen. 

The Court of Assistants, which was sitting at the time, heard 
the prisoner and evidently read the report of the commissioners, 
and then at once disposed of the matter. 

At a Court of Assistants at Boston, 6th September, 1681. 1 

The Commissioners and Selectmen for the Towne of Boston pre- 
senting to this Court mr. Henry Sherlot a frenchman, that is newly 
come into this Towne as he sajth, a Dancing master and a person 
very Insolent and of ill fame, that Raves and scofTes at Religion, of 
a Turbulent spirit no way fitt to be tollerated to live in this place 
and therefor humbly desiring this Court according to their wisdomes 
to take such order that the sajd sherlott maybe remooved and sent 
away not only out of this Towne but Colony as a person not with 
safety to be Admitted to live amonst vs: The Court on pervsale of 
what was presented voted that mr. sherlot the frenchman dancer 
and fencer be remooved out of the Country and that he depart ac- 
cordingly [at] once within two months on penalty of Contempt of 

Present: Simon Bradstreet, Esq. Gov. Thomas Savage 
Richard Saltonstall John Richards 

Daniel Gookin, John Hull 

Daniel Denison James Russell 

Wm. Stoughton Samuel Nowell 

Joseph Dudley, Peter Tilton 

Peter Bulkley, Barthol. Gedney, 

Nath. Saltonstall Samuel Appleton 

Humphrey Davy 

And so vanished Mr. Henry Sharlot from history and pre- 
sumably from the colony. 

By the courtesy of Miss Sara Norton the Editor is able to 
print the following 

Letters or Goldwin Smith to Charles Eliot Norton. 

Oxford, [England,] Nov. 7, 1863. 
My dear Sir, — Mr. Leslie Stephen has kindly delivered your 
parcel. Accept my best thanks for your courtesy in sending me the 

1 Noble, Records of the Court of Assistants, 1. 197. 

1915.] LETTERS OF GOLDWIN SMITH, 1863-1872. 107 

copies of the reprint of my lecture l (which does your press great 
credit) and for the letter which accompanied them. 

It is a pleasure much greater than any literary success could give 
to feel that my pen has rendered any assistance, however slight, to 
the good cause. 

A good cause it is: and the most momentous perhaps, in the issues 
it involves, for which the blood of man was ever shed. I trust the 
result will be, not only to expel from American society the poison 
of Slavery and of that worst of all aristocracies which Slavery brings 
in its train, but to bar forever the reactionary influence of the Euro- 
pean governments on your Continent; and thus to make, in deed 
and truth, a new world, the scene of new hopes for man. 

I have as deep a horror of war as anyone: and was as much op- 
posed to this war at the outset as anyone could be. But now I see 
that, if it ends, as, if the North persevere, there can I trust be no 
doubt that it will end, all will have been for the best. 

I wish your statesmen and orators would speak with a little more 
discrimination of England. You have a strong party of friends here, 
and they have done you some service. Of course the aristocracy are 
against you almost to a man. The great capitalists are against you, 
and they have done a good deal to give a wrong tone to the city and 
to the London press. The clergy of the Establishment are against 
you, as a Commonwealth founded on liberty of conscience. The 
rich are mostly against you, though some of our rich men, such as 
Mr. Bayley Potter 2 of Manchester, have gallantly disregarded 
class feeling and cast in their lot with the right. A good many of 
the middle classes are against you, because they ape the aristocracy, 
and the wealthier of them are themselves a sort of aristocracy in 
their way. But a good deal of the intellect, the more religious part 
of the middle classes, the ministers of most of the Free Churches, 
and the great mass of the intelligent lower classes are on your side. 
This has been the case at least since the great issue between Free 
Labor and Slavery was fairly tendered: you could hardly expect that 
it should be so before. 

I say the intelligent lower classes are on your side. Our agricul- 
tural laborers are unhappily for the most part in too wretched and 
degraded a state to comprehend any political question whatever. 

People here are in some degree actuated by the memory of the old 
quarrel, which your writers have not allowed to die. They have 
also been embittered by insults received from a Government that 
had its seat at Washington, and which they not unpardonably, 
though falsely, identify with that which sits there now. 

1 Does the Bible sanction American Slavery? 

2 Thomas Bayley Potter (181 7-1898). 


The French Government has been perpetually soliciting ours to 
recognize (and of course support) the South. If France and England 
were united in this course all the other Governments would follow 
except Russia. And Russia, though you coquet with her (much 
to our scandal) is too alien to you in character to be your firm ally; 
besides which she has this Polish war raging in her vitals. You 
can therefore scarcely afford to discredit and weaken the party which 
is opposed to Recognition in this country. But this is what Messrs. 
Sumner * and Chase 2 are doing to the utmost of their power. The 
publication of Cassius Clay's despatches also covered us with shame, 
and your government with dishonour. 3 But your statesmen are 
small men at the head of a great nation. 

Of course the Times has been most insulting. But the gang of 
scoundrels who carry it on, and who pander in it to the vilest pas- 
sions of the class which patronizes and feeds them, exult in every 
foul word uttered against England on your side, especially by your 
public men. 

I must own, however, that England is not quite herself at pres- 
ent. She is suffering from reaction after political effort in the same 
way, though not in the same degree, as France: and Lord Palmer- 
ston embodies the temporary victory of scepticism and sensualism in 
one country as Louis Napoleon does in the other. When our nobler 
mood returns, we shall judge more worthily of these things. 

I shall be always grateful for a letter from you, and for anything 

you may be so kind as to send for my instruction. Believe me, 

dear sir, Yours faithfully, ~ 

Goldwin Smith. 

Oxford, July 22, 1864. 

My dear Sir, — The Cunard which leaves Liverpool on the 
20th August will, I hope, bring me to Boston. As I learn through 
our common friend Mrs. Gaskell 4 that you will be there again 
about the beginning of September, I shall look forward to the pleas- 

1 This may refer to Sumner's speech at New York, September 10, on "Our 
Foreign Relations." Of it Sumner wrote to Norton, September 16: "I wish I 
could have the advantage of your friendly criticism on the 'one or two points' 
of my speech. The stake is too great for me to have any other desire than the 
Truth. My hope was to state our case with perfect frankness, and then to ex- 
hibit the moral absurdity of an affected ' neutrality' — much more of alliance 
against us." Ms. 

2 On September 6 Smith went to the centenary of Brown University and 
heard Chase make a speech "qualifying what he had before said against England." 

3 Probably a reference to Clay's despatches printed in the Diplomatic Corre- 
spondence, 1862, giving suggestions for the conduct of the war and expressing 
distrust of England. 

4 Elizabeth Cleghorn (Stevenson) Gaskell (1810-1865). 

1915.] LETTERS OF GOLDWIN SMITH, 1863-1872. 109 

ure of seeing you (and I assure you it will be to me a very great 
pleasure) soon after my arrival. 

I shall come with feelings very different from those of a mere 
tourist to a land which, since you have irrevocably broken your 
connexion with Slavery, I have learnt to regard almost as my own. 
For, with all loyalty to the land of my birth, the heart of a political 
student cannot fail to be, in some measure, with the nation which 
in spite of all the calamities which beset and all which (it is to be 
feared) still await it, bears, more than any other, in the bark of its 
fortunes, the political (and, as I believe, the religious) hopes of 

I am sure no American can have watched with more intense in- 
terest or deeper anxiety than I have the terrible crisis through 
which all that you and I most value is now passing. I have the 
greatest personal confidence in Grant, who seems so far to have shown 
no sign of despondency or weakness. But otherwise I confess my 
hopes would fail. The best and most candid judges here take the 
most gloomy views of the military situation. The financial situation 
seems not less serious: and there are certain rules of wisdom in 
finance which have been impressed on us by dire experience here, 
but which, from the want of such experience, your statesmen do 
not appear thoroughly to have imbibed. And now, at the most 
critical moment, when all the force of the nation ought to be put 
forth for victory, comes this distracting contest for the Presidency 
to divide and paralyze the State. However neither the Slave Power, 
nor any other power of Evil, will in the end be master of the World. 
Believe me, my dear sir, Yours very truly, 

Goldwtn Smith. 

P.S. The victory of our Government over the Tory opposition, 
which for the present is complete, is rather in favour of our cause. 
Palmerston does us the honour (it is a real honour) to be our enemy, 
but the majority of the Government are either favourable to the 
North, or at least inclined to neutrality. The obstinate resistance 
of the Maoris in New Zealand, and the wars or rumours of wars in 
other dependencies are also against intervention in American af- 
fairs. Some of our operatives are, I fear, a little shaken by the 
Cotton famine and the Southern Club. But on the whole, in spite 
of the solicitations of the French Emperor (who also has a revolt 
in Algeria on his hands), I don't think European intervention is 
much to be feared. 

Oxford August 5th, 1864. 

My dear Shi, — Since I last wrote to you I have received your 
kind present of books, for which accept my best thanks. The Life 


of Grant 1 is most interesting. Few men have been called upon to 
play a more important part in history than the great General of 
the North in this struggle. And so far he seems to have played it 
well in every respect. But we are reading every telegram with the 
keenest anxiety; and the hopes of the Southern party, that is of all 
the reactionary classes, among us are still high. It is true these 
people read scarcely anything but the Times and the Telegraph 
(a middle class Times) which feed them with falsehoods. The Times 
is far worse than the Telegraph, and it is curious that the highest 
class here, which natters itself that it is most exempt from vulgar 
passions, has exceeded all the rest throughout these events in its 
love of violence and slander. 

I took a great liberty with your last letter. Two or three para- 
graphs struck those to whom I read them so much, and seemed to 
me likely to do so much good in certain quarters, that I ventured to 
send them (of course without your name and omitting the names 
of two or three persons whom you mentioned) subjoined to a letter 
of my own, to the Manchester Examiner and Times, which is the 
most influential paper in the manufacturing North of England. I 
enclose the slip, which my servant has unluckily torn. A great 
effort is being made at this moment by your enemies to prevent our 
people from emigrating to your country, and thus to increase your 
difficulties by cutting off the supply from your labor market. It 
seemed to me that the paragraphs of your letter circulated in a 
Manchester paper were likely to be of use in counteracting this 

I have taken my passage for the 20th. My ship is the Europa. 
I am afraid she is rather slow. 2 Yours most truly, 

Goldwin Smith. 

Hon. Geo. Bancroft's, New York, 
17 W. 21st St., Dec. 4, 1864. 

My dear Norton, — My movements have been so uncertain 
that your letter of Nov. 14 only came into my hands on my return 
to New York last night. 

The breakfast went off very well. 3 The speeches of your coun- 
trymen were very — I thought wonderfully — good. Curtis above 
all. The 'Beast' 4 by no means bad. 

The Beast took me from New York to the Army: and I had 

1 Probably Larke, General Grant and his Campaigns, 1864. 

2 He landed at Boston, September 2. His travels and impressions in the time 
which elapsed before the next letter are given in his "United States Notes." 

3 At the Union League Club, November 10. 

4 General Butler. See Proceedings, xliv. 10. 

1915.] LETTERS OF GOLDWIN SMITH, 1863-1872. Ill 

'a good time' for two days at his head quarters. I rode about his 
lines, and to my unmilitary eye all seemed well. 

From the Army to Washington, where I had some pleasant and 
instructive days with Seward. Then to Mr. Kennedy's l at Balti- 
more. Then to the Fields 2 at Philadelphia — an introduction for 
which I thank you a thousand times. 

I was with the President about twenty minutes. 3 He talked all 
the time to Senator Wilson, who introduced me, about the elec- 
tion ; and probably showed me more of himself than if he had been 
talking to a stranger. My favorable impression of him was decidedly 
confirmed. He is not in any point of view a subject for Phidias; 
but he is better looking than his photographs, and his conversa- 
tion showed, as I thought, geniality and good sense. He told several 
stories, all of them apposite and none of them obscene. On the 
whole I think I could feel as much loyalty towards this somewhat 
grotesque incarnation of Yankeedom, as I could have felt towards 
the Bourbon King of Naples who was always trying to put his leg 
over the horse in the tapestry on the wall. 

The eye of Sumner's mind, if I mistake not, is too much turned 
inwards to see very clearly the characters of People outside. 4 

I was rather taken with the Beast. He has both the good and 
the evil points of a revolutionary chief. 

Seward was very agreeable and very communicative. I wish he 
had it in him to place you in a better position before the Court of 
Nations about this matter of the Florida. It is a sad affair and I 
fear will lead to serious complications. I suspend my judgment 
about the sinking, especially as I saw her at Fort Monroe in a posi- 
tion where an accidental collision might easily have occurred, and 
heard at the same time that she was not seaworthy. But the op- 
portuneness of the accident staggers charity itself: and Porter, in 
whose hands she was, is a hotheaded fool, full of his father and the 

1 John Pendleton Kennedy. 2 John W. Field. 

3 In his "Notes" he mentions but one interview with the President, Novem- 
ber 16: "Saw the President. His stories — the three pigeons. The manu- 
facturing population. They would annex Hell as a market for their cottons." 

4 He had met Sumner at Boston on October 5, and thus recorded his con- 
versation: "He thought England ought not to have recognized the South as 
belligerents. This was done by Lord Russell without consulting the American 
Ambassador. Weakness of Mr. Seward. He had been inclined to a violent 
foreign policy up to the time of the Trent affair; after that he became pacific. 
His indiscreet dispatches on the subject of Slavery. His declarations that Slavery 
had nothing to do with the war. His violent language (amounting to a declara- 
tion of war so far as a mere diplomatic act could) cut down by Mr. Lincoln." 
"United States Notes," 285. 


Society at Baltimore is almost in a state of civil war. A lady, 
Mrs. Hutchins, was sentenced while I was there to five years in the 
Penitentiary. She had certainly been guilty of a treasonable act: 
but she is a great fool and had better have been sentenced to simple 
detention as a political lunatic. 

My name is erroneously printed in the prospectus of the Atlantic 
Monthly as one of the regular contributors for next year. I had 
talked to Fields confidentially about some papers to begin (possibly) 
next summer: but I desired him not to announce them. He says 
his clerk sent me the prospectus; but either it never reached me or 
I, not expecting anything of the kind, paid it no attention. It is 
not very pleasant to be coupled with Mr. Augustus Sala, 1 who be- 
sides being the lowest of the Bohemians, is now engaged in the 
slandering for hire all the loyalists of this country. 

I am now in a most hospitable house, but rather among the 
fashionable world, from which perhaps I shall part on the 14th 
with less of a pang than I should from the society of Boston. Next 
year, Ashfield and Illinois! 

There is no home on earth, except my father's, where I more 
desire to be missed in my absence (as you kindly say I am) than 
yours. My best love to all its inmates. Ever sincerely yours, 

Goldwin Smith. 

17 W. 21st St., N. York, 
Dec. 9, 1864. 

My dear Norton, — No doubt your criticism on the Letter is 
just, for I wrote in haste and in indignation. 2 If it is being repub- 
lished, could not the offending sentences be struck out or altered in 
form? Otherwise it may do more harm than good. I need not 
say I should have entire confidence in your pen. 

I ought to have said that at the very time of Sumner's worse 
precedents we were laying down by the mouth of Lord Stowell a 
maritime law for all nations. 

Surely the suggestion on p. 18 of Sumner is detestable. 3 

1 George Augustus Henry Sala (1 828-1896), who was in the United States 
from November, 1863, to December, 1864, writing for the London Daily Tele- 
graph. He printed My Diary in the Midst of the War, still of interest. 

2 On the case of the Florida. Sumner had written an article on it for the Boston 
Daily Advertiser, November 29, 1864 {Works, ix. 141). Smith replied somewhat 
tartly. See Proceedings, xliv. 10 n. 

3 "If the American commander who undertook this business at Bahria, had 
done it completely, there would be little difficulty now. There were fire and 
water both at his service. He might have burnt the Florida or scuttled her at 
once, and his offence would have been no greater than now, while his Govern- 
ment would have been relieved from embarrassment. It is hardly cynical to say 

1915.] LETTERS OF GOLDWIN SMITH, 1863-1872. 113 

As to Seward, I do not mean that he will go far wrong in point of 
substance. But his want of promptness and loftiness of manner is 

I got the English letter, many thanks. It was stupid of me to 
forget that there was a note of yours with it. Seward, if I recollect 
right, put it into my hand at Washington. I do not think I was told 
that it came through Lord Lyons. Lord L[yons] is here on his 
way to England. I am sorry he is taken away, for I believe he is 
well disposed to America; and there is no knowing whom Palmer- 
ston may put in his place. 1 

I am very sorry to hear what you say about Lowell. Pray give 
him my kind regards and best wishes for his recovery. In haste, 
yours sincerely, 

Goldwin Smith. 

Park's End, Oxford, Dec. 29, 1864. 

My dear Norton, — This must be a circular letter to you and 
yours, Jamaica Plain, and Mr. and Mrs. Loring. 

First of all, let me wish you all joy, a thousand times joy, on the 
success of Sherman 2 — all the more welcome because it is gained 
by a man who, like Grant, I think may be called a real hero. 

I landed at Liverpool on Christmas Day, 3 as well as one could be 
after ten days of almost continual sea-sickness. We were scarcely 
past Sandy Hook, when the China, which like screws in general, 
rolls very much, laid me on my back. I was beginning to revive 
a little when we got into one of the great circular storms which, it 
seems, move in a regular path from the tropics to the pole. In this 
we were tossed about for thirty-six hours. The worst part of it 
perhaps was the centre of the storm, which is windless, but where the 
sea boils like a cauldron from the meeting of the waves driven to- 
gether from all quarters by the ring of storm. The China did her 
duty well, though she could make but two knots an hour: but the 
sea broke over us, pouring down into the berths; and from that time 
(the fourth day) till the last day of the voyage my cabin was a 
chamber of horrors — the suffocating air, and the smells being quite 
as bad as the seasickness. I scarcely had any use for Mr. Cleveland's 
sea-chair on deck : but it was of great use to me in the cabin, as my 
couch, being constructed not by inventive Yankees, but by old- 

of such an omission, in the words of Talleyrand, that ' it was worse than a crime 
— it was a blunder. ' " 

1 On March 1, 1865, Sir Frederick William Adolphus Bruce was commissioned. 
He died at Boston, in September, 1867. 

2 The Chattanooga-Atlanta campaign. 

3 He had sailed from New York, December 14. 


world Britishers, was as untenable as Hood's or Manuel's position, 
during the storm. 

Shall I ever muster courage to cross the Atlantic again? To say 
that I shall not, would be pronouncing on myself a sentence of ban- 
ishment. Perhaps in six months of rest and home exercise my 
valour may accumulate once more. 

Though I longed on landing to get to my own fire-side I could not 
resist the call which I received at Queenstown from our friends at 
Manchester to go and tell them what I could about you. Among 
others, I saw Bright, who was very much depressed by the recent 
death of his child, 1 but was cheered by talking with a friend fresh 
from America. I am afraid, however, that he will never make up 
his mind to cross the Atlantic. You will be sorry to hear that Cob- 
den, having overexerted himself in his speech at Rochdale on your 
Presidential election, was taken alarmingly ill. He is now better, 
and the mischief in his lungs which was the threatening part of the 
malady, has yielded to treatment; but I fear his public life is nearly 
at an end. 2 A fearful loss to us English Liberals, who depend on 
our leaders to a degree which you, having an enfranchised and edu- 
cated people, can scarcely understand, and who have now nobody 
left us but Bright. For Forster, though in some respects a strong 
as well as a good and right-thinking man, is totally destitute of the 
magnetism, as you Yankees call it, essential in a political chief. 
Our old Whig leaders are now declared renegades, and Gladstone, 
though a liberal economist and a semi-liberal politician, is bound 
hand and foot to the ecclesiastical reaction. Bright's tone about 
English politics is mournful, and not without cause. If you mis- 
carry, the political and ecclesiastical reaction will become so power- 
ful here, that you may have to give some of us a home. But I 
have some faith in you and in your prospects, though you do call 
rolls biscuits and biscuits crackers. 

The ' Court Journal ' and other aristocratic organs here are abus- 
ing me pretty handsomely. I look to General Sherman to write 
me a telling reply. 

What a wretched letter Seward has written to Lord Wharncliffe! 3 
And what a chance of writing a good one he has thrown away! 
I am not in charity with him on public grounds though privately 

1 Leonard Bright, aged five years. 

2 Cobden died April 2, 1865, of acute bronchitis. 

3 Edward Montague Stuart Granville Montague-Stuart- Wortley Mackenzie, 
first Earl of Wharncliffe (1827-1899). As chairman of an association for pro- 
viding relief to southern prisoners of war, he applied for permission to send an 
agent to distribute the proceeds of a bazaar, some £17,000, among the military 
prisons in the northern states. His application is in Diplomatic Correspondence, 
1864, 11. 354, and Seward's reply, sent through Adams, 367. 

191 5-1 LETTERS OF GOLD WIN SMITH, 1863-1872. 115 

I was his guest and found him a most pleasant companion. In every- 
thing he does he shows want of dignity and something more — too 
much cleverness (am never sure that I know the Yankee meaning 
of that word) and too little instinct by a great deal. The case of 
the Florida will bring shame on us here when we speak with our 
enemies in the gate. And the people, I am convinced, were quite 
prepared for the nobler course. Your people are a long way ahead 
of your so-called statesmen. 

Lord Lyons came over with me. We are old friends, and he talked 
very freely about America. After we had pulled Seward to pieces 
a little he said, "But, after all, you might go further and fare 
worse." "Yes," I said, "you might have Sumner." He em- 
phatically concurred. If that man ever gets into power he will, 
under some highly moral pretence, sacrifice the highest public in- 
terests to his personal position. Of all your public men, he is the 
one for whom I have brought away the least respect, 

Lyons was reading Lady Georgiana Fullerton's last novel. 1 
The scene is Illinois, where she introduces wild monkeys and other 
tropical productions. The ignorance of the Britisher is truly sub- 

New York was beyond measure kind to me; but I cannot 
say that it was so congenial as Boston. A bookworm is out of his 
element in a round of dinners and receptions. If I get over next 
summer, I shall make the country my point, and hardly go into the 
great cities again. 

My little house and library received me with a very cheerful 
face after the wintry Atlantic. You will be often thought of, all 
of you, in this quiet room. 

I must write other letters for the mail. Ever yours sincerely, 

Goldwin Smith. 

Oxford, Feb. 10, 1865. 

My dear Norton, — You have probably seen Lord Russell's 
words at the opening of Parliament. I suspect they may be partly 
attributed to a passage in your letter to me, which I brought under 
the notice of a member of the Government who I am sure laid it to 

Lord Russell did not do it very well. He does nothing very well, 
because he is always thinking less of the thing to be done than of 
Lord Russell. Besides the old man's intellect has seen its best days 
and even they were not golden. 

1 Lady Georgiana Charlotte Fullerton (181 2-1885), daughter of the first 
Earl Granville. She published a novel, Too Strange not to be True, in 1864. 


The Canadian Government seems to be doing all that it can: 
and I believe I may assure you that it is acting with the full con- 
currence (as to the spirit of its policy) of the Colonial Office here. 

I lament, with reference to this matter, as well as on personal 
grounds, the loss of the Duke of Newcastle. 1 I have no doubt we 
were at variance on the American, as we were on many other po- 
litical questions. But he was a really high-minded man and would 
have been open to any suggestions touching the character of the 

His private secretary came to me the other day to give me an 
account of his end. Born to princely expectations, brought up like 
a prince, married to the loveliest and most charming woman of her 
day, 2 blest apparently with a promising family, he died divorced 
and deserted, with no one to soothe his last hours but a lady who 
had been the governess of his daughter, and who, though sick her- 
self, volunteered [The remainder of the letter is missing.} 

Oxford, April 17, 1865. 

My dear Norton, — I do indeed rejoice with you over this 
crowning victory of our cause and give thanks to God as heartily 
as I can for any victory in war. I never can forget that the best 
things, and those which are in the end to prevail over all the rest, 
came into the world not in the form of War but of Peace. 

Like you, I trust that the work of war is now nearly done. The 
regular armies of the Confederates are annihilated: and without 
regular armies to support them guerillas do not hold out long. 
The Spanish guerillas were nothing without the army of Welling- 

And now may the spirit which animates all you write and say 
prevail in the conduct of what is to come. If it does, all will be 
well, and not only well for you but for us. The old fortress of 
Feudalism will not long withstand the force of your example. It 
quakes already; and not only at the thunder of victory, but, still 
more, at the voice of moderation which is heard in the midst of 
victory, from the lips of your statesmen. 

It would scarcely become us to celebrate the military success of 
another nation — especially a success gained in Civil War. But 
when the Abolition of Slavery is ratified — an event which will 
fairly belong to humanity at large — I hope you will see that on 
that question at least our principles have not changed nor our hearts 
grown cold. 

1 Henry Pelham Fiennes Pelham Clinton (1811-1864). 

2 Lady Susan Harriet Catherine, only daughter of Alexander Douglas Hamil- 
ton, tenth Duke of Hamilton. 

191 5-] LETTERS OF GOLD WIN SMITH, 1863-1872. 117 

Your letter of March 30 was very tantalizing. I wish it had con- 
cluded as you thought it was going to conclude. And I wish the 
Freedman's Aid Society would reconsider their reconsideration. 
You know there is one house in England at least, of which, though 
it is far from being a Shady Hill, the single inmate would give you 
an affectionate reception. You would find yourself at home in 
Oxford and encircled by pleasant retrograde people. And I am sure 
access could be procured for you to anyone in the country whom 
you might wish to see. Some of your rich tourists (as well as ours) 
do want a little neutralizing; and you would do it, if I am not de- 
ceived as to the taste of my fellow-Bulls, to perfection. 

I begged Mr. Loring to let you see what I said in my last letter 
to him about Fraser x (whom I am sure you would like and value) 
and about my own change of plan. What you tell me about 
Mr. Curtis gives me a keen additional pang. From what I saw 
of him I longed very much to see more. On the other hand 
next year I shall be able to come in May, because I can begin 
my six months residence here in October; and I shall hope to get 
off my hands some literary work which has been already adver- 
tised and which would have been a burden on my conscience if I 
had come this year. 

There is nothing serious the matter with me, I believe: only 
weakness, arising perhaps from the effects of a very severe and pro- 
longed winter, of which my seasickness had probably made me more 
than usually susceptible. 

Alas for Cobden! We have lost in him the real centre of our 
party. But he is gone, if ever man did, to a happy rest after a day 
of good work. If he could only have lived to hear these tidings! 
And yet I doubt whether he could have thoroughly exulted in any- 
thing connected with war. He longed to be at the end of the end- 
less sea of blood. 

Within a few months I have lost two out of the three leading pub- 
lic men (Cardwell 2 being the third) with whom in different ways 
I have been intimate, and whose intimacy has been very interesting 
and instructive to me. The Duke of Newcastle has left on my 
mind the impression (deepened by his misfortunes) of a man who 
in spite of all the temptations of rank and fortune walked con- 
stantly in the most laborious path of duty. There is something 
about these high bred people when they do take a noble line, which 
will be found again under another name and without the drawbacks 
in the Democracy of the future. Cobden I had not known long: 

1 James Fraser (1818-1885), later Bishop of Manchester. He visited the 
United States and Canada in 1865, to report upon educational methods. 

2 Edward, Viscount Cardwell (1813-1886). 


but it was impossible to know him even for a short time without 
greatly loving him. 

I was near being asked to stand (or as I think you say 'run') 
for Rochdale, for which Mr. T. B. Potter the Chairman of the 
Manchester Union and Emancipation Society has been to our great 
satisfaction elected after a sharp contest. I have little doubt that 
I shall be asked to stand for some place at the coming general elec- 
tion. But I have quite made up my mind to decline and spoken 
positively to all who have sounded me on the subject. What good 
could I, a student, unable to speak and too old to learn, do in the 
House of Commons? I am far better employed in my study with 
my pen. My inclination is rather to retire from the slight connec- 
tion I have with party politics than to get deeper into them. Be- 
sides my health is very weak, and my income very slender. So I 
hope you will think that I decide like a true sage. 

The Negro question will, I fear, be a great difficulty. You cannot 
have a Pariah caste without fatally derogating from the essential 
principles of your Republic. On the other hand, from the difference 
of colour and the physical repugnance, amalgamation seems hope- 
less. The feeling in favour of the Negro, which the war has excited, 
will probably somewhat subside and old prejudices will probably 
in some measure regain their sway. If I were a negro, I think I 
should make for the West Indies, where under the tolerably kind 
and sensible rule of the British Corsair, the race has perhaps its 
fairest chance of civilization. We have a Jamaica negro now at 
this University, and here, if there are any men of intellect amongst 
them they may come and be trained up as leaders and rulers of the 

I have sent a lecture which I gave to the Historical Society of 
New York on the History of Oxford to Harper 's Monthly (I thought 
it right to send it to a New York periodical), and begged them to 
pay the price of it to the Freedman's Aid Society in that city. 

As to the question between the nations — a certain class of 
Englishmen have in your eyes and mine committed a moral offence 
by sympathizing with the Slave-owners, for which they will surely 
pay, and are already beginning to pay, the moral penalty. But we 
ought not to think of anything so ugly as war till a casus belli arises, 
of which at present there is really no prospect. You have as yet 
made no demand in the matter of the Alabama; and therefore it is 
premature to assume that we shall not be ready to do anything 
that honor and justice may prescribe. This seems to me to be the 
right way of viewing the case at present. 

I hope the sight of Fraser will do something towards preserving 
peace, if your people will only reason a fortiori from the clergymen 

1915.] LETTERS OF GOLD WIN SMITH, 1863-1872. 119 

to the grenadiers. As to Professors, we detail all the weakest for 
that service. 

I hope you have duly received a letter which I wrote about six 
weeks (I think) ago, giving amongst other things some incidents 
respecting the Duke of Newcastle, and which, at the end, I desired 
you to destroy. Please to destroy all my letters; and then I can 
talk to you in them as freely as if you were (as I trust you will soon 
be) sitting here by my side. 

With kindest regards to all your party, ever yours sincerely, 

Goldwin Smith. 

P.S. Of course if there chances to be anything in any of my 
letters of which you can make any good use, you will do so at your 
discretion. I sent two or three sentences from your last but one 
(without your name) to the Manchester Examiner. 

As to my letter to the Boston Advertiser, if you regret its pub- 
lication, I am sure it ought not to have been published. In this 
matter I am like the outlaw in the "Lay of the Last Minstrel." 
I am not sure that I quote rightly — 

An exile from my native land 

In hidden dale I've wandered long, 

But still my heart is with merry England, 

And cannot brook to see her wrong. 1 

And so are all our hearts — let Admiral Porter take notice of it. 
The working men of Manchester turned out Bright because they 
were persuaded (wrongly) that he had acted against the honor of 
the country. 

I hope Fraser (of the time of whose visit to Boston, by the way, 
I am not certain) will make the acquaintance of Mr. Childs, 2 whose 
shrewdness and candour could not fail to be of great use to him. 

G. s. 

Oxford, April 29, 1865. 

My dear Norton, — Never did I see the ice which generally 
covers the feelings of this people more completely broken up than 
on the arrival of the last news from America. 

Both Houses of Parliament and all the great public bodies in the 

1 Misquoted from Canto iv. xxviii: 

"An exile from Northumberland, 

In Liddisdale I've wander'd long; 
But still my heart was with merry England, 

And cannot brook my country's wrong." 

2 Francis J. Child? 


Nation will send expressions of horror and sympathy; and in doing 
so they will truly represent the national heart. There prevails 
among us, if I do not mistake my countrymen, a deep feeling of 
compunction, as well as of respect for the Dead, and indignation at 
the crime. 

I should tremble for your people, if I had not seen them. Having 
seen them I am firm in the belief that they will not allow their 
Cause to die with any individual life however inestimable and be- 
loved. They will make the best of their new President, try to help 
him in moderate courses and to make him lean on the right men, 
and stand by the Constitution. 

Slavery has doubly killed itself in striking this blow. If there 
lingered in any good man's heart the slightest sympathy for the 
fallen cause which thus avenges itself, it must be extinguished 
now. And whoever may have been the instigators of the crime — 
whether there were any instigators or not — Slavery the parent 
of all crimes and abominations is the manifest source of this crim- 
inal's inspiration. 

Lincoln's death-knell is the death-knell of this great power of 
Evil too, and the morning chime of a new era for Lincoln's nation. 

What a Drama has this been ! May God preserve and guide you 
all! Ever yours affectionately, 

Goldwin Smith. 

Oxford, July 26th, 1865. 

My dear Norton, — The work of term and the election which 
followed being over, I am just setting off for Normandy where I 
shall spend five or six weeks in sauntering about very leisurely, and 
where I hope to pick up a little health as well as a little history. 

The result of our general election gives English Liberals just cause 
to be thankful for the heroic constancy and still more heroic self- 
control of the American people. If you had failed in the war, or 
done what your enemies predicted that you would do and what 
other nations in similar circumstances have done, at its close, the 
boast of the reactionary party here would have been fulfilled, and 
the Liberals would have been completely defeated. As it is, we 
have gained twenty-five seats and shall have a majority of sixty 
at least in the next Parliament. I must not exaggerate our victory. 
Many of the so-called Liberals are wealthy men, entering Parlia- 
ment for commercial or social objects, professing Liberalism be- 
cause it is the established creed of the boroughs for which they are 
members, but with little real interest in politics and quite indisposed 
to measures of organic change. The members of the Whig aristoc- 
racy also, who clung as Liberals, are Liberals in fact by connection 

1915.] LETTERS OF GOLDWIN SMITH, 1863-1872. 121 

only, not by conviction. The organization of the old parties here 
is remarkably strong and enduring. It resembles the hereditary 
politics of some of the great houses in ancient Rome. Still, I think 
we shall get, or at least make progress towards getting, some Liberal 
measures. One in which I feel personally a strong interest, the 
Abolition of Academical Tests, will, I think certainly make way. 
I do not despair of seeing an extension of the County franchise, 
which would somewhat diminish the tyrannical influence of the 
great landowners in those constituencies, and thus remove, or at 
least weaken, the greatest obstacles to measures of social reform. 
I think it probable too that the Irish Church will become the subject 
of serious discussion, more especially as a happy change seems to have 
come over the spirit of Irish politicians, who have lately been in- 
clined to act with the Tories in the interest of the Temporal Power 
of the Pope, but who seem now disposed to act again with the Lib- 
erals in the interest of their own country. At all events, " Con- 
servative Reaction" is at an end. 

The change among the Irish was produced, partly at least, by a 
rash sally of insolence on the part of Lord Derby. 1 The fact is that 
this man does not care what he says, whether about America or the 
Roman Catholics, because he does not wish to come into power. 
He has a colossal fortune, is very lazy, is at the head of English 
society, fond of horseracing and (strange to say) equally fond of 
elegant literature, has a fit of the gout whenever he comes into office, 
and has been twice Prime Minister already. There is moreover a 
dearth of ability among his leading supporters (the residuum of the 
old Conservative party after Peel and all the flower of the party had 
left it) which he is shrewd enough to appreciate, and which forbids 
him to hope for a glorious reign. He must remain at the head of a 
party or he could not be, what he loves to be, the leading orator of 
the House of Lords; and to remain at the head of a party, he must 
preserve the attitude of a candidate for office. But it will be under 
some momentary impulse of his hot temper if he makes any seri- 
ous effort to come in. Exclusion from office is perhaps not the more 
bitter to him because it is wormwood to Disraeli, whom he cannot 
shake off, but whom he is believed most cordially to hate. 

The leading Unionists here were successful — Mill at West- 
minster, Fawcett at Brighton, Hughes at Lambeth, T. B. Potter at 
Rochdale. And though the attempt to unseat Laird at Birkenhead 
failed, it is something to have put his seat in jeopardy, considering 
that he is the commercial emperor of the place. When you consider 

1 Edward George Geoffrey Smith Stanley, fourteenth Earl of Derby (1799- 
1869). The "characteristically rash pleasantry" was uttered in a speech on 
the Roman Catholic Oaths Bill, June 26, 1865. 


the influence of wealth at Westminster and Brighton, you will own 
that those elections mean much. 

Gladstone was rejected not by the University proper, in which he 
had a very large majority, but by the 4000 non-resident electors. 
The event has crowned him leader of the Liberal party when the 
interminable decrepitude of Palmerston shall at last come to an end. 
It seems natural and is assumed by everybody, that his change to a 
more Liberal constituency will make him more Liberal: but those 
who are aware of the waywardness of his genius are inclined to 
doubt whether the natural effect will ensue. He is however a 
staunch economical reformer, and really disposed to improve the 
condition of our working classes. The Tory landowners, by their 
virulent attacks on him do their best to confirm him in this disposi- 
tion. His main difficulty as a leader of the Liberal party will be the 
divergence of his ecclesiastical opinions, (he being a High Church- 
man and completely entangled personally in that connection) from 
those of the rest of the party. In your country, fortunately for you, 
this complication cannot arise. On the question of the Irish Church 
however, which is the one of most practical urgency, Gladstone has, 
I think, decisively committed himself to a Liberal line: and as the 
Irish Church, from antagonism to the R. Catholics is ultra-Protes- 
tant, the Romanizing party in our Church will not be so angry with 
their chief for consenting to its destruction. 

I went of course heartily into our local contest with my friends: 
the more so as I felt a personal interest in Gladstone as an eagle (or 
a tolerably near approach to one) pecked by daws. But I felt little 
of the excitement which I should have felt if I had not been in 
America. I trust I may say without breach of loyalty to England 
that I have the hopes and the interests of an American as well as 
of an English citizen, and I know that the Common Cause is safe 
in your hands. Anything like personal antipathy to our aristocracy 
I trust I have never felt; and so long as we do not go backwards I 
am ready, if such is our destiny, to wait till the great problem of a 
free community shall have been manifestly solved by you. You 
seem to me to be prospering altogether. The negro question is of 
course your grand difficulty: and it is such a difficulty as perhaps 
has seldom occurred in politics before. But I have learnt by degrees 
to have almost unlimited faith in the practical sagacity of your 

We are all sickened by the crime of Pritchard. 1 The crimes of 
the uneducated or embruted do not come home to one. But this 

1 Dr. Edward Pritchard, who was tried, condemned and executed for mur- 
dering his wife and mother-in-law. See Annual Register, 1865, 221. 

1915.] LETTERS OF GOLDWIN SMITH, 1863-1872. 1 23 

makes one say with trembling as the old Puritan did when he saw 
a man going to be hanged, " There, but for the grace of God, goes 
John Bradford." The affair of Constance Kent too is a portentous 
tragedy. 1 There seems no reason to suspect insanity. She appears 
to have been by nature diabolically wicked. There is evidence 
tending to prove that she thought of murdering her mother-in-law 
but considered that she should inflict more pain on her by murder- 
ing her child! 

Pray give Mrs. Norton my best thanks for her kind letter. She 
bade me not answer it at the time, and as I was ill and overworked 
I did not do so. The tokens of her and your affection are always 
welcome to me; and doubly welcome when I am ill, cut off by ill- 
ness from society (though I am pretty well broken in to solitude) 
and suffering from the depression which when one's power of work 
are paralyzed no effort of self-control in one who is not a moral 
Hercules will keep entirely at bay. 

The photograph book is nearly completed. It does not quite 
satisfy me: but, such as it is, it shall find its way to Shady Hill by 
the time you return there for the winter. 

I long for the hills and air of Normandy, and the tranquillizing 
calm of the great Churches. My kindest regards to all your party. 
Yours affectionately, 

Goldwin Smith. 

My route in Normandy is so uncertain that I shall not be able 
to have my letters forwarded, unless I should happen to stay long 
enough at one place to send for them. 

Oxford, Oct. 1, 1865. 

My dear Norton, — I have just returned from my pleasant 
wandering in the quiet parts of Normandy (quiet and simple for 
the most part as they were in the days of Louis XIV) with strength 
enough, I hope, to carry me through the term's work. But at the 
end of the current Academical year, i. e., in the beginning of next 
July, I shall probably give up my Professorship. I have a fellow- 
ship of £200 a year (the income of which I do not draw while I hold 
the Professorship) to fall back on; and I shall devote myself to 
literary work as my strength serves. My great ambition (I am 
afraid it is too great an ambition) is to write a history of the English 
Revolution of the time of Charles I. to which this magnificent sequel 
has lent increased interest. Writing is not like lecturing, which 

1 Constance Kent, convicted on her own confession, five years after the event, 
of the murder of her brother, Francis Saville Kent. See Annual Register, 1865, 


makes a periodical demand upon one's powers: one can take it up 
and lay it down as one pleases. 

I am afraid the reduction of my income, independently of the 
question of health, will prevent another visit to the States: yet I 
have a strong presentiment, to which perhaps the strong wish is 
father, that I shall see America again. 

I saw nothing and nobody of note in France except M. Guizot, 
with whom, finding myself near his country house, I went over to 
pass a morning. He is living with his children, his sons and daugh- 
ters-in-law and his grandchildren round him, a pretty patriarchal 
picture, still actively engaged in literary work, and on the point of 
bringing out the second volume of his work on Christianity, which 
is to give an account of the present state of religion in France. 
Evidently the old man is enjoying, after all the storms and disasters 
of his political life, a very happy and serene old age — and this is 
strong proof that his life, though not free from faults, has been 
honorable and devoted to good objects on the whole. 

The Government of Guizot and Louis Philippe, if it was not very 
pure or very august, was at all events a civil not a military govern- 
ment — it did not wilfully stimulate, though it did not firmly re- 
press, the national thirst of glory and rapine. It was at heart, a 
government of Peace, though to its ruin as well as to its dishonour 
it sometimes bowed down to the French Fiend-God of War. 

Our talk was all of literature and ecclesiastical affairs. Guizot 
scarcely touched on French politics, and I did not like to draw him 
on the subject. But in the general remarks which he let fall, his 
tone was that of a man appealing to a very distant future. He 
seems to be completely thrown back on a revival of Religion, as the 
only way of redeeming the nation from the abyss of materialist and 
sensualist despotism into which it has fallen. 

There is a good deal of commercial activity and growing wealth, 
accompanied by excessive luxury, in France. But politically the 
nation seems dead; and there is nothing, so far as a stranger's eye 
can discern, to roll away the stone from the mouth of the sepulchre. 
Domestic morality, and to judge by the popular literature, morality 
of all kinds appears almost extinct. Obscene songs, sung with 
obscene gestures, are the delight of high society and the Court. In 
Le Luxe des Femmes (a very popular little pamphlet which I advise 
you to get) the luxury of women is defended on the ground that un- 
less the wife spends a fortune in dress she has not a chance against 
the courtesan. Religion is the emotional superstition of the female 
sex. No man of sense in the towns goes to Church or believes in 
any thing at home. As to the clergy, no doubt there are good men 
among them, especially in the rural districts, but as a body they are 


priests of Baal, cozening the people with false miracles and lies, and 
ready in the interest of their own order, to anoint any tyranny and 
bless any injustice. It is really the Roman Empire of Juvenal with 
its corrupt matrons and its priests of Isis over again. The fetes 
which it is a part of the business of the Prefets to be always getting 
up, complete the resemblance. Panem et Cir censes. 

One religion however the French still have, the worship of Mili- 
tary Glory incarnate in Napoleon I. Everything that the Govern- 
ment can do to stimulate the lust of war and conquest is done: and 
a military character is assiduously given to every public act, to 
every festivity, and as far as possible to life from the cradle to the 
grave. At the distribution of prizes in a school of "the Christian 
brothers," all the military in the town are collected, the sous-prefet 
comes with a military guard, military music is introduced at each 
stage of the ceremony, military emblems are everywhere displayed, 
and the urchin who speaks the address tells you, amidst great ap- 
plause, that he and his school-fellows are being brought up to be 
"good Christians and good soldiers." In America wherever I went 
I saw peace in the midst of war. In France (though I avoided the 
garrison towns as much as possible), I saw everywhere war in the 
midst of peace. Nations love military display, which flatters them 
with the consciousness of force, just in inverse proportion to their 
moral greatness, and, I hope, when it comes to a decisive struggle, 
in inverse proportion to their real heroism. The French have beaten 
the wooden armies of the old despotisms: they have never beaten 
a nation. I fear, however, that before luxury does its work and 
consigns them to a second epoch of Louis XV, they will have de- 
voured the liberties of Belgium and Switzerland. 

The prospects of the old world are not good. In attempting to 
pass from the feudal system to a system of society founded on 
equality and justice the nations have sunk down under military 
despotisms; and though Providence will find a way out of this as 
it has out of other apparently desperate situations, the way is not 
yet disclosed. I sometimes think that there will be in the end a 
death struggle between the nations and the standing-armies which 
would be the most terrible thing in history. In the new world and 
in your people at present lies the hope of humanity: and having 
seen how good that hope is, I felt, among the swaggering Zouaves 
and the sous-prefets, as though I had the death-warrant of Im- 
perialism in my pocket. 

It is astonishing how rapidly French Imperialism has corrupted 
Europe. Bismarck, O'Donnell 1 — all these men of sabre-sway — 

1 Enrique O'Donnell, Count of Lucena. He died in 1867, a defender of the 


and in no small measure Palmerston himself — are imitators and 
creatures of Louis Napoleon. I am sorry that you are obliged (as 
I suppose you are) to recognize the Satrap Empire of Mexico. If 
it succeeds it will inoculate your Southern States with a virus fatal 
to Republics. 

So far as I have been able to see through the dim medium of the 
French papers your affairs have been going well. I cannot form a 
judgment as to the President's policy — whether it is honest and 
wise conciliation, or whether it is a policy of compromise, the work 
of one who is too little of a Lincoln and too much of an ambitious 
politician. Your elective Presidency is a terrible trial of virtue. 
I see our Southern journals are beginning to damn Johnson with 
their approbation. I never liked the school from which he came. 
But I trust your people to finish their own work. 

The negro suffrage question is the one which to a distant specta- 
tor seems most difficult, and almost desperate. How can there be 
real political equality without social fusion? And how can there 
be social fusion while the difference of color and the physical an- 
tipathy remain? I cannot help thinking that negro emigration on a 
large scale will prove the best way out of the wood. And happily 
our West Indian dependencies under a really paternal government 
(for such, say what you will, the British government in dependencies 
is) lie close at hand. 

I am sorry to see by the last news that another cloud has arisen 
in our diplomatic sky. I need hardly say that I do not love the 
Contributors to the Cotton Loan. 1 But surely it would be mon- 
strous to maintain that a Government completely commanding 
the obedience of a vast territory and having great armies in the field 
was not a de facto Government, however wrongful its origin and 
however vile its objects may have been. Your own Government 
negotiated with it. Your President met its envoys. Could your 
neighbours be expected to ignore its existence? 

Respecting Froude's history — if the name of history can be given 
to a mendacious and sophistical romance — I should like very much 
to write a notice of it. I did review it in the Edinburgh some time 
ago. 2 At present I am bound, as fast as my lectures will permit, to 

1 See Bigelow, Retrospections of an Active Life, in. 217. 

2 Reviews of Froude appeared in the Edinburgh Review, cvni. 206; cxix. 243. 
" An article on Froude in the Edinburgh is by Goldwin Smith. It is rather 
too personal, to say the least, in its tone. Goldwin Smith was a contemporary 
of Froude's at Oxford, and is now Professor of Modern History vice Halford 
Vaughan." Arthur H. Clough to Charles Eliot Norton, July 30, 1858. " It is 
thought rather a shame by those whom I have heard speak of it, and Froude's 
answer in the Eraser of October is certainly temperate and well mannered, and 

I9I5-] LETTERS OF GOLDWIN SMITH, 1863-1872. 1 27 

complete a School History of England for our University Press. 
But I will try to find time, and I am pretty well posted in the sub- 

My kindest and most affectionate regards to all your party. 
Ever yours sincerely, 

Goldwin Smith. 

Thank you very much for the portraits of Dante and the Lin- 

Mortimer, Reading, Dec. 16, 1865. 

My dear Norton, — I did not like to write to you about the 
events in Jamaica till I could tell you something that might redeem 
the honor of the country. Now, I am happy to say, I can. A Royal 
Commission of Inquiry into Governor Eyre's l proceedings is to be 
sent out, and he is to be suspended till it has done its work. A 
very good man takes his place in the meantime. Whether he and 
the other criminals will be punished as they deserve is another ques- 
tion. But a nation cannot be expected to recover at a single bound 
from such a state of public morality as has been prevailing here 
under the Palmerston regime. The victory of sound over unsound 
public opinion may, however, I hope be called decisive. The Times 
and other journals of the Palmerston tribe which began by uphold- 
ing tyranny and cruelty in the name of England, and denouncing 
all opposition to them as unpatriotic have discovered to their cost 
that England has still something of a conscience left in her, and are 
ignominiously sneaking over to the side of humanity. It has been 
a struggle between two parties as nearly as possible identical with 
yours: and we have again felt the inspiring influence of your vic- 
tory, and the still more inspiring influence of the humanity with 
which it has been used. 

Our Government is not strong in any sense. Its first impulse, 
I am afraid, was to support and screen its subordinate in Jamaica. 
The course it has now taken is forced upon it by the pressure of 
public opinion: but the result is all the more encouraging as re- 
gards the character of our people. 

You see that Forster, the member for Bradford, a great ally of 

is said to be victorious in argument. Froude, I believe has earned £1,800 by 
his books. Hallam, if you care for such statistics, told Sir Francis Palgrave the 
other day, that his total earnings by his books had amounted, in all his life, to 
about £20,000. Sir Fr. Palgrave said he himself had never received anything; 
but that refers probably to his Histories only." lb., September 10, 1858. 

1 Edward John Eyre (1815-1901). The commission reported in his favor as 
to suppressing the riot, but condemned the subsequent "unnecessary rigor." Sir 
J. P. Grant was his successor. 


Bright and a staunch friend of the North, has become a member of 
the Government. 1 No doubt we shall have a measure for the ex- 
tension of the suffrage; and if it is, as we expect, £20 for the coun- 
ties and £8 for the boroughs, it will probably pass. Lord Derby is 
personally committed to as much as this and therefore he can 
scarcely advise the Tory majority of the Lords to reject it. 

Lord Russell cannot go on long, and then we shall have Glad- 
stone as leader of the Liberal party, with his strange hybrid mix- 
ture of political and economical Liberalism with High Church 
opinions. The High Churchmen, by the way, have deeply dis- 
graced themselves, through their organs, in the Jamaica business. 
They know full well that Force not Justice is their friend, and they 
support it accordingly, however sullied with tyranny and murder 
it may be. When will the world be delivered from these super- 

I would give something to be at Washington now. The po- 
litical struggle will be equal in interest to the military. But it is a 
great pity that your Ministers are not in Congress to explain and 
defend their own policy. It must be very difficult for Congress to 
modify that policy without coming actually to blows with the 
Executive. I cannot help thinking that these events will lead in 
the end to some alterations of the machinery of your Constitution. 

Johnson seems to be a statesman. But I confess my heart does 
not accept him as the successor of Lincoln. Your people however 
I trust are staunch, and will not suffer him or anyone to deprive 
them of the fruits of their victory, as they will be deprived if Slav- 
ery is not extirpated root and branch so that it shall be heard of no 
more for ever. 

Connecticut is so orthodox that I should hardly expect her to be 
moral. How can people who believe in an Arbitrary God above, 
seek, with singleness of heart, to establish justice below? 

Not that I am very strong about immediate political rights. I 
should think it enough in the first instance to secure to the negro 
all the rights of man, giving him the prospect of the suffrage under 
certain conditions. I take it for granted that the South will for 
the future be allowed to have votes in Congress only for the en- 
franchised population. A continuance of the present system would 
be a premium on disfranchisement. 

It is a desperate problem this of getting the ex-slave-owner and 
the ex-slave to live together as brethren, without any controlling 
power to keep peace and justice between them. It taxes to the ut- 
most my faith in the practical sagacity of your people. 

1 Under Secretary for the Colonies. 

1915J LETTERS OF GOLD WIN SMITH, 1 863-1 87 2. I2Q 

In the West Indies, under the control of our Government, mat- 
ters have gone pretty well on the whole. The present lamentable 
catastrophe in Jamaica is due, so far as we can see, mainly to the 
want of wisdom and integrity on the part of the Governor who was 
appointed by the Home Government on very good grounds, and 
whom they had every reason to trust. But it is evident from what 
has now happened that had the whites and blacks been left to them- 
selves, instead of being controlled by England, the island would 
long ago have been the scene of a dreadful war of races, which would 
have ended probably, in that case, in the destruction of the whites. 

The negroes cannot be said on the evidence before us, to have 
shown great ferocity, rather the reverse. In truth if the element of 
ferocity had not been rather wanting in their character, they would 
never have been made, or would not so long have remained, slaves. 
If they would show their teeth a little now, the temptation to re- 
duce them into a state of serfage would be less. 

How wise and how truly glorious is the reduction of your stand- 
ing army! This old world is now under the feet of standing armies 
and their masters, in spite of the forms of constitutional liberty 
which most of the nations possess. I wish I could say with full 
confidence that England was an exception. But in this Jamaica 
business we have been made to feel that our Executive too has an 
awful power in its hands. 

I wish I could write oftener: but my power of work hardly 
suffices for the work I have to do. 

Remember me most affectionately to all your party. I hope your 

little son has quite recovered from the effects of his illness. Ever 

yours sincerely, ~ 

Goldwin Smith. 

Oxford, Jan. 6, 1866. 

My dear Norton, — I have received most kind invitations 
simultaneously from Mr. Lowell to deliver a course of lectures at 
Boston and from the President of Harvard College to deliver one 
there. These would be great additional inducements, quite inde- 
pendently of the liberal remuneration which is offered to visit 
America next summer if it were in my power to do so. But to the 
impediment arising from my own debility which, might after the 
exhaustion of a voyage, incapacitate me for literary exertion, and 
from an engagement to our University Press, which but for my 
feebleness of health ought to have been fulfilled before and which 
I shall feel bound when the work of my Professorship is off my 
hands, to fulfil, there is now added one of a still more decisive kind 
arising from the health of my Father. I received the other day an 


alarming summons to his house : and though the dangerous symp- 
toms have now passed off, he is still nervous (and at his age not un- 
naturally) about his state of health, more especially as the disease 
to which he believes himself to be liable is such as might lead to a 
sudden termination. My Mother-in-law, though she has in some 
degree recovered her general health, remains completely crippled 
by the effects of her malady, and my Father is thus deprived in 
great measure of his only companion and helpmate. Under these 
circumstances I am sure it would be a great affliction to him to learn 
that I was going to the other side of the Atlantic. 

The plan which I have chalked out for the remainder of my life 
(supposing I can recover my strength and power of literary work) 
is this. After resigning my Professorship in July I shall stay here 
till I have completed the short history of England during the Middle 
Ages which I have undertaken to write for our Press, and for which 
I have collected my materials here. Then I propose to take up my 
abode with my Father, to whom that arrangement will be welcome, 
at his house at Mortimer in Berkshire, about midway between Ox- 
ford and London, carrying with me materials for a short history of 
the English Revolution in the time of Charles I, a period to which 
I have paid a good deal' of attention. If I survive my Father and 
am still able to work, I propose to come over to America, to reside 
there for some time, and close my literary life by writing some por- 
tion of American history, for which the study of our Revolution will 
be a useful preparation. The critical state in which my Father the 
other day believed himself to be led him to make some explanations 
as to his pecuniary circumstances from which it appears that I am 
likely to be somewhat better off at his death than I supposed, though 
a large part of his income is the property of my Mother-in-law and 
goes, under an entail, to her relations. This plan, like all framed by 
mortals for the future, may be overturned by a thousand accidents; 
but still it is agreeable to have a plan. I know you are too affec- 
tionate a friend to find fault with me for troubling you with these 
personal details. 

Of public affairs the most important here continues to be the 
Jamaica question, which is evidently tending towards a fierce party 
struggle when Parliament meets. It will be a decisive test of our 
morality. I trust we shall bear it, but the struggle will be most 
severe. Fortunately the acts of the Governor and his satellites are 
so flagrantly illegal that almost all the lawyers are on our side. 
No feature of the case is more terrible — I might say appalling — 
than the sympathy which our military men in this country al- 
most unanimously display with the violence and atrocity of their 
brethren in Jamaica. Heaven grant that we may never fall under 

1915J LETTERS OF GOLDWIN SMITH, 1863-1872. 131 

their yoke. But it is a danger to which we ought not to be 

We have done very wrong, though you have given us every 
facility for doing what was right, in the case of the Alabama. I 
am not sure however that the protracted unsettlement of the ques- 
tion will not in one respect be beneficial. The gentlemen at Liver- 
pool will be too much afraid of reprisals to wish for any, least of 
all for an American war. And thus there will be less chance than 
ever of our being drawn into any sinister combination with French 

My most affectionate remembrances to all the inmates of your 
house, and many a happy New Year to them all. Ever yours 

Goldwin Smith. 

Oxford, March 27, 1866. 

My dear Norton, — Your last letter was more than welcome: 
for after the President's speech on Washington's birthday your 
friends in this country felt much as they did after Chancellorsville. 
That he is a low man, as you say, is certain. But I am afraid he is 
also a bad man. Nothing could be a stronger proof of a bad heart 
than the way in which he turned round upon his friends and his 
cause. It seems to me that it was too clearly a case, not of violent 
language used in momentary irritation, but of a traitor thrown off 
his guard by anger and prematurely taking off the mask. It is 
well at all events that he has taken the mask off. 

Your letter was so interesting, and the anxiety of all the friends 
of America here for authentic information at this crisis is so great 
that I have ventured to send a long extract, of course without your 
name, and with the omission of what you had said about Seward 
and Sumner, to the Daily News. 

If the President's speech had been a mere outburst of coarse 
resentment, it would have been excused by the conduct of Sumner 
and his section. What a pity that a strong and wise man has not 
turned up to lead the Republicans! Perhaps this crisis may bring 
one out. 

I have sent you through Triibner (carriage paid as far as I could 
secure it) one hundred copies of an Address on the Civil War which 
I delivered at Manchester in January, at the last meeting of the 
Emancipation Society, as printed by desire of the Society. I 
thought you might possibly like to have a few copies to give away 
— but pray understand that I by no means wish to impose on you 
the burden of distribution. I have sent a parcel to Mr. Loring also 


with a request that if he thinks proper he will send a few over to the 
Union Club. 

Your Custom-house is a terrible gauntlet for English books to 
run. I think our publishers will cease to export them altogether. 
This is not like Florence, or even Venice. 

Talking of Addresses, Bancroft's effusion * produced in this 
country the effect you may imagine. Surely it was a gross breach 
not only of good sense but of social rules. Our Ambassador was 
there not only as a matter of official form but to represent a strong 
and genuine though tardy feeling of the English nation — a feel- 
ing which you may hear expressed in a way which precludes any 
suspicion of insincerity in any English company, high or low (except 
perhaps the select circle of Mr. Spence 2 ) into which you are thrown. 
And again I have no patience with a historian who represents us as 
a filibustering nation because we were a conquering power in the 
days of Chatham, when aggression was the rule of the world. The 
Colonists in those days went with Chatham just as heartily as the 
people in the Mother Country. Our last significant act was the 
abandonment of the Ionian Islands, a step which we took not only 
without pressure, but against the wishes of the Powers who had put 
the Islands in our hands. 

The mischief which these escapades do is very great. Not only 
every high-bred man but every mechanic in the nation contrasts 
them with the supposed dignity of aristocratic statesmen and 
draws conclusions unfavorable to republican institutions. The 
mechanics, I say, do this quite as much as the higher classes. And 
they feel, as much as the higher classes, attacks upon England. 
The consequence is that they learn to regard America as a hostile 
country, and that the English labour, which would be so valuable 
to you, and for which Irish labour is a very poor substitute, goes not 
to America, its natural destination, but to Queensland. 

Bancroft and his coadjutors in the propagation of Anglophobia 
are producing a tacit alliance among the European powers, especially 
England and France, the weight of which is thrown into the Slave- 
owner's scale and enables him to show a bold front and make high 
demands in view of possible quarrels with foreign powers. The 
President has more than once allowed this influence to appear in 
his language on the subject of reconciliation. 3 

Your people do well in showing no sympathy for Fenianism. 
Not a single person capable of taking an intelligent view of the in- 
terest of Ireland has joined, or shown the slightest sympathy with, 

1 Memorial Address on Lincoln. 2 James Spence. 

3 The comment gains force when it is recalled that Bancroft wrote the first 
message sent to Congress by President Johnson. See 2 Proceedings, xix. 395. 

191 5-1 LETTERS OF GOLD WIN SMITH, 1863-1872. 1 33 

the movement. If it came to a head, we should have not an attempt 
to get up a republican government in Ireland, or even any thing 
that could be dignified with the name of a civil war, but a scene, on 
a large scale, such as you had at New York, with tossing jof children 
on pike-points and the other accompaniments of Celtic insurrection. 
The suspension of the Habeas Corpus Act is an evil necessity to 
which, no doubt, we should not have come, but for ages of misgov- 
ernment; but it has been attended by no needless cruelty, and the 
trials of conspirators have been perfectly fair. Their terms of im- 
prisonment will probably be shortened when the danger is over. In 
the last thirty years at least the intentions of the English government 
and people towards Ireland have been good. The two great injuries 
which they persist in inflicting on her are those which they persist 
in inflicting on themselves — a barbarous land-law and an Estab- 
lished Church. We shall in the end get rid of these things. We 
shall get rid of the Established Church in Ireland at no distant 
time — if the Fenians will let us. Nor do I apprehend that even 
Fenianism will materially interfere with the progress of a Liberal 
policy: for the temper of our people on the occasion has been de- 
cidedly good. The moderation of the government has been popu- 
lar, as well as its firmness. 

In measuring the efforts of the Liberal party, however, in Irish 
questions, you must recollect that we have to act with [blank] l who, 
the moment they have got what they want for themselves, will 
turn round and join the Tories and the Priest Party among the 
English Clergy. The other day the leader of the Irish in the House 
of Commons, D. O'Donoghue, 2 voted with the Tories and High 
Churchmen against the Bill for the Abolition of Academical Tests. 
Our Tests, of course, to him are false; but he voted for any tyranny 
over Conscience. 

We carried that little Bill, by the way, by a large majority; and 
though we have the Lords before us, we begin to hope for success. 
I may yet see Oxford restored to the nation. 

We are going to have a very sharp struggle on the Reform Bill, 
against which the old Whigs and Palmerstonians have, under cover 
of a Jesuitical amendment, combined with the Tories. It is impos- 
sible to say at present, what the result will be. Probably a majority 
for the Bill, but too small to save it. 

Many thanks for the Revenue document. You have nothing to 
fear in finance now except a conflict of interests, aggravated by. 

1 Irish themselves? 

2 Daniel O'Donoghue, of Summerhill, county Kerry, commonly called "The 
O'Donoghue of The Glens." 


I have arrears of thanks to pay you also for an article which you 
some time ago pointed out to me in the N. A. Review. 

My History crawls, my powers of work being at zero. But I am 
giving up^every thing else, literary, Academical, political, that I 
may get on with it. It will be written, sooth to say, more for Ameri- 
cans than for Englishmen. Americans will more easily forgive than 
Englishmen the omission of a good deal of orthodox matter (barren 
Norman wars, etc.,) if I can succeed in giving them in a tolerably 
clear and connected way the essential facts of English history. 

Last Saturday, all London turned out in the grey of the morning, 
and covered the banks of the Thames for five miles with swarms of 
people to see the Oxford and Cambridge Boat race. These boys of 
ours with their passion for physical health, symmetry and vigour, 
the half-ascetic lives they undergo to attain them, their unreflect- 
ing Conservatism and their Balaclava charges, are probably the 
nearest thing the world can now show to Ancient Sparta. I am afraid 
that in their case too there is a Helotage. They are out of date, out 
of keeping with modern, even with Christian society. But I suppose 
there must be something poetic about them, or the nation would not 
be so bewitched with them as it is. The poetry, however, whatever 
it may be, departs with their activity and the beauty of their forms, 
and leaves something very unromantic behind. Their athletic 
wreath is hung in the Hall of Aristocracy and their Pindaric glory 
is a grain, politically, in the Conservative scale. 

The Nation spoke so kindly of me in the last number I received 
that I may almost seem bribed to pay it a compliment. But I 
have been reading it with sincere admiration as well as interest. 
It is in its department, the first fruits of the regeneration which a 
great moral struggle was sure to produce. 

Don't preach up Matthew Arnold too much. He is a very clever 
and a very neat writer, though a ludicrously palpable imitation of 
the French. But he has no heart or eye for truth or genuine worth 
of any kind. Grandiosity is the staple of his philosophy: and he 
forgets that the grandiosity of French despotism measures the moral 
weakness of the people. He was private secretary to Lord Lans- 
downe, a grandee much famed for Medicean sumptuosities, and 
also for septuagenarian debaucheries of the most indescribable kind. 

The first spring day is shining through the windows of my study. 
I wish it would bring me a little more power of work. 

My best love to all the inmates of Shady Hill. Ever yours affec- 
tionately, Goldwin Smith. 

The Address, I am sorry to say, is a disgrace to Manchester 

1915.] LETTERS OF GOLDWIN SMITH, 1863-1872. 135 

You see we are in a fair way to set ourselves right about Jamaica. 
The revelation of ex-slave-owner propensities has come very op- 

Henry Charles Lea to Charles Eliot Norton. 

Phil'a July 13th 1866. 

Dear Sir, — A day or two after my last letter, my anxiety re- 
specting your Ms. was relieved by receiving it from Mr. Curtis, 
and I return it herewith. I have read it with much regret, and such 
has been the feeling of those to whom I have shown it, in accordance 
with the discretion which you allowed me. 1 

It is very difficult to understand the motives which prompt Mr. 
Seward to this course. We surely cannot do him the injustice to 
suppose that he allows himself to be deceived by sophistry so shal- 
low as that in which he indulged to you. He is not a man to act 
without an object, and I confess myself unable to find the key to 
the enigma. Johnson I can understand. There is that in the train- 
ing of a poor Southern white which may, in a nature such as his, 
be ineradicable; and we can readily imagine a character so essen- 
tially vulgar to be dazzled by the future which the flatterers around 
him can so easily picture forth. But Seward seems to be ruining his 
future for the mere pleasure of contradicting his past — a more self- 
stultifying suicide it is difficult to conceive of. 

I was greatly pleased with Goldwin Smith's address, which I read 
with much interest. Distance, however, lends enchantment to the 
view, and however grateful be the splendid eulogy which he pro- 
nounces upon us, we, who were inside, and who saw how many sel- 
fish and baser motives were mingled with the patriotic self-sacrifice 
that illustrated the struggle, cannot but feel that much of the praise 
which he so eloquently pours forth is undeserved. 

Can you favor me with Prof. Smith's address (I mean his resi- 
dence, not his discourse)? I should like to send him a copy of my 
little book, which, amid many interruptions, is at length drawing 
to a conclusion, and which in a few days I hope to see in the hands 
of the binder. 

I am greatly in hopes that the " National Union" convention 
to be held here next month will prove a petard to hoist its engineers 
— as was the case with its Chicago prototype. So impudent and 
barefaced an attempt to organize the South for renewed hostility 
and to array it against the nation cannot but prove shocking to the 
sense of the North, and the sort of reconstructed unrepentant rebels 

1 This refers to an account of a conversation of Seward with Norton and 
Godkin, April 12, 1866. It was printed in Ogden, Life of Edwin L. Godkin, I. 260. 


whom they will send here as delegates will be likely to open the 
eyes of their honest, unsuspecting friends. 1 Very Truly Yours etc. 

Henry C. Lea. 

A day or two since I received a cheque from Messrs. Ticknor & 
Fields for $8, for notice of Brinton Coxe's Guterbock. 

H. C. L. 

Oxford, Sept. 7, 1866. 

My dear Norton, — It is an age, almost a cycle, since I wrote 
to you — quite a cycle of Europe if not of Kathay . What a change ! 
— an independent Italy, a united Germany, or a fair prospect of 
one, and all in a moment! The German revolution took us very 
much by surprise. Its nature was hidden by the sinister figures of 
the King and Bismarck, their arbitrary domestic policy, their 
rapacity in the Schleswig-Holstein affair. In the small despotic 
states the expression of opinion was forbidden by the petty despots. 
Just before the revolution, I was sitting by Stuart Mill at dinner 
and we were agreeing that our sympathies were divided between our 
desire to see Italy perfectly free and our dislike of Bismarckian 
self-aggrandisement. Even in Berlin, up to the last moment, they 
were holding great meetings to protest against war. Would that 
the end could have been gained by any other means than war, 
which always brings evil with it and leaves evil behind it! But cer- 
tainly the immediate results of bloodshed have seldom been so 
good. Vistas of a reign of peace and a reduction of the standing 
armies which devour and degrade us begin to open. If the Zouaves 
will only be content! 

I do not believe, from what I know, that Bismarck is a man of 
first rate ability. He has done and said a great many foolish things. 
On this occasion he greatly compromised his own cause by his in- 
solence and violence. But he saw that Germany was longing for 
unity, and he had the courage to take the rope between his teeth 
and jump in. 

The South of Germany will in the end, and probably before 
long, gravitate to the North. The South Germans are Catholics, 
but Catholics by compulsion and accident, which in fact may be 
said of Teutonic Catholics everywhere. Catholicism was forced 
on them by the House of Austria. The Bavarian priesthood have 
always been Utraquists 2 and opposed to clerical celibacy. 

1 On the National Union Club and its convention, held August 14, see 
American Annual Cyclopaedia, 1866, 754. 

2 The chief tenet of the Utraquists or Calixtines was that communicants 
should partake in both kinds (that is, of the cup as well as of the bread) in the 
Lord's supper. Century Dictionary. 

1915] LETTERS OF GOLDWIN SMITH, 1863-1872. 137 

It was not the needle gun, nor even the strategy of Moltke, but 
the Prussian nation that beat the Austrian standing army. It is 
consolatory to see that the moral forces are the strongest even in 
war. The Austrians were as slow and as blundering as ever. They 
committed over again the blunders of their old campaigns against 
Napoleon. They ought to have thrown the whole of their force 
upon the Prussians, standing on the defensive in the Quadrilateral, 
and Benedek ought to have thrown his whole force on one of the 
two Prussian armies as they issued separately from the Bohemian 

And now will Austria live or die? Her old bond of union, the 
necessity of mutual protection against the Turks, which was in 
force till the middle and even beyond the middle of the last century, 
is of course utterly gone. Can she find another in its place to bind 
together the ten languages which her bank-notes bear upon their 
face? Her German Provinces, which must now necessarily cease to 
lord it, as they have hitherto done, over the rest, will begin to yearn 
for confederation with their German brethren. She does not de- 
serve to live, for she has long been a mere organization of imperial 
and oligarchical selfishness. Her provinces have been merely the 
recruiting grounds of a great standing army, which trod civilization 
and justice under its hoofs. She has done much to retard progress, 
absolutely nothing to advance it. 

In England the Reform Agitation is going on with some increase 
of force. But the sentiment evoked seems to me to be rather 
class antipathy than desire of free institutions. In 1832 the rich 
were divided. Many of the country gentlemen were on the side of 
Reform. Now the rich are almost all united in opposition to Re- 
form, and in a wealth-ridden country to overcome this opposition 
is very hard. However next Session of Parliament you will see the 
Liberal party alive. It seems as though Gladstone had cast in his 
lot with us, but he has very entangling connections with the aris- 
tocracy — his wife still more so. 

I dare say you see that our papers are full of the question of 
"Ritualism." This strange ecclesiastical back-stream, which is 
closely connected with the political reaction, had its exact analogue 
in the age of Charles I. The two periods present many points of 
resemblance. I hope we, like our Ancestors, shall defeat the reac- 
tion, though without a civil war. 

I need hardly say that I continue to read your politics with in- 
tense interest — with much more interest indeed than these Euro- 
pean politics with the crash of which our ears are full. But I find 
it quite impossible to form a judgment from the newspapers of 
the course things are really taking. I look on in confidence how- 


ever, knowing that the ultimate direction will rest not with the 
politicians of Washington but with the people. Of course this is 
the honeymoon of the President's party. If they get into power, 
or even near it, their differences will begin to appear. The South- 
erners instead of keeping conveniently in the background will then 
begin to ride the party hard, and surely they must ruin it in the 
estimation of the nation. 

It is disappointing after national throes which one would have 
thought were enough to give birth to great men, to see such very 
indifferent substitutes for great men still at the head of parties. 
By this time a man ought to have appeared whose very presence 
would consume Dean Richmond and Thurlow Weed. 

I know you must feel pretty much as I do with regard to the con- 
duct of Congress and of the politicians on both sides in the matter 
of Fenianism. But I am afraid there is real danger in prospect. 
It is impossible that our Government can tolerate murderous in- 
vasions of its territory by the citizens of the United States encouraged 
and abetted by the American legislature and by the leaders of 
American parties. It is provoking to think that the President, arch 
traitor as he is to the best cause on Earth, has distinguished himself 
by behaving in this matter like a man of honour. 

The more we hear of Jamaica, the more difficult it seems to 
believe that the ex-slave-owner and the ex-slave will ever form a 
community together. After all, will not extensive negro emigra- 
tion prove the way of escape? At all events partial emigration would 
be beneficial because it would raise the price of negro labour and 
redeem the race from complete dependence on their Southern em- 
ployers. I wonder whether any of them will ever find a by-way to 
Equality by the road of art or music? Have they any special gifts 
as a race which could be cultivated without exciting the jealousy 
of their white competitors? "The South Since the War" is most 
interesting. 1 Many thanks for your kindness in sending it. 

I hope you are all well. When shall I see you again? I have 
not been able to go out of reach of my Father's house this summer. 
The physicians for a long time could make nothing of his malady. 
At last they have pronounced though not very decidedly that it 
is brain. It manifests itself in the most painful manner, and re- 
quires the constant attention and vigilance of his family. Just now 
he is rather better. 

My history goes on steadily, that is I work at it every day, but 
slowly, my powers of work, which were never very great being cer- 
tainly less than they used to be. It is a hard task, writing a history 

1 By Sidney Andrews, correspondent of the Boston Advertiser. 

I9I5-] LETTERS OF GOLDWIN SMITH, 1863-1872. 139 

of this kind, because it requires great care in the composition, for 
the purpose of economy of space as well as for other purposes, be- 
sides the labour of eliciting the facts. 

With my very kindest regards to all your family, Ever yours 

Goldwin Smith. 

Mortimer, Reading, Oct. 8, 1867. 

My dear Norton, — You will have returned from France by 
this time, I trust with an assurance of pleasant winter quarters. 

I wish I could look forward with certainty to being at Keston 
again before the 27th. You may be sure I will if I can. But I am 
'sore let and hindered' in these last days from doing the things I 
should like best by the calls of the " Stump." 

"Stump" we have already and "Caucus" 1 we must have soon 
or the Liberal party with its various sections will become an anarchy. 
We are afflicted with double candidatures to a terrible extent. 
The other party having, as the party of resistance, scarcely any 
sectional divisions and possessing the compactness of an oligarchy 
suffers scarcely at all from this source of weakness. 

A "Whip" however would say that the elections are going well 
for the Liberals. In fact our chief "Whip" whenever I go to con- 
fer with him is pretty radiant. But to me it is sad to see how over- 
whelming the influence of wealth still is, and now the extension of 
the suffrage is nullified by the restriction of the voter's choice to 
candidates who can pay heavy election expenses. 

The people are so much accustomed to have their expenses paid 
by the candidates, that they will not contribute a penny themselves. 
They think themselves extraordinarily virtuous if they do not hold 
out their hands for bribes. I assure you that, in addition to my 
work on the stump, this campaign will have cost me a sum of money 
which I could not very well afford; and a part of this will have been 
spent in very wealthy places. 

On the whole I shall not be very sorry to leave English politics 
behind me. A Tory M. P. said the other day to a Liberal M. P. 
who is a friend of mine, "I prefer our scoundrel to your madman." 
No doubt Gladstone is impulsive, but on the present occasion his 
impulse, which we were rather disposed to check when he first mani- 
fested it, has proved to be that of a good tactician. He has given 
his party an excellent question to go to the country on, and there 
can scarcely be a doubt that in December he will turn the tables on 

1 See New Historical Dictionary, sub verbo "caucus," for an interesting note 
on the introduction of this word into England. 


his enemies. The best part of his leadership however is the high 
tone which it gives to the democracy of the newly enfranchised work- 
ing-men. It is impossible to estimate this advantage too highly. 

Bright I fear is doing himself some harm by snubbing the work- 
ing-men's candidates. His hold on the masses already is less strong 
than you might suppose. I believe its precarious character partly 
arises from his being one of the employer class. 

If you wish particularly to see our mass meetings it would al- 
most be worth your while to run down to the North, where Glad- 
stone will be addressing his constituents on the 12 th and some of 
the following days. The excitement I have no doubt will be immense. 

I read the Daily News on Ezra l and thought your estimate of it 
just. The other day one of our squires came up to me and said that, 
hearing I was going to be connected with a model farm, he should 
be glad to give me a hint about the management of my liquid manure. 
Ezra will subside a little on that point and learn that he is called to 
diviner things. 

White 2 has sent me some photographs, but they are only photo- 
graphs of the scenery, not of Ezra or the College, nor even of the 
town, though one photograph gives just the skirt of it. There seem 
to be a great number of fine waterfalls, which I abhor. 

With the perversity of the British nature I look forward every 
day with serener satisfaction to my residence and work in Tomp- 
kins County. I believe to make me change my mind by all the 
arguments that wisdom could urge now would be as difficult as to 
reason the ring off a bride's finger. Only my soul is heavy within 
me when I think of the Yankee bread. What creatures, to be filling 
the world with their seminal pistil ideas and not to be able to make 
decent bread! 

I know, from your own lips, that you neglect the theological 
education of your children. The theological education of the chil- 
dren of this family is not neglected. The other day there was a 
rice pudding for dinner with some unusual kind of spice in it. One 
of the party remarked that it seemed nobody could tell what was in 
the rice pudding. "Yes," replied a little girl four years old, "Jesus 
Christ can tell." "Hush! you must not talk in that way." "Yes, 
but Jesus Christ can tell; for all things were made by him, and with- 
out him was not any thing made that was made : so he must have made 
the rice pudding; so he must be able to tell what is in it." 

The same young lady having been duly taught the doctrine of 
the Trinity, but not understanding it quite so clearly as her seniors, 
lapsed into Arianism, in which, having a temper, she was rather 

1 Cornell, founder of Cornell University. 2 Andrew D. White. 

1915.] LETTERS OF GOLDWIN SMITH, 1863-1872. 141 

inflexible. "The Holy Ghost is not God; he is not God; he is 
NOT God: you told me he was Influence.'''' 

Is there such a thing as a quiet hotel at New York? With best 
love to all the Rectory, Ever yours sincerely, 

Goldwin Smith. 

I rejoice to hear that Eliot is better. Let him beware of lolly- 
pops. They are the bane of his race. 

Mortimer, Reading, July 26, 1867. 

My dear Norton, — It is indeed a long time since I wrote to 
you; but I often think of you, my heart often turns to Shady Hill 
and its inmates, and I long to be a guest again under that kind roof. 
And so, some of these days, I steadfastly hope to be. But at pres- 
ent, far from being able to cross the Atlantic, I scarcely venture to 
pass a night away from this place. My Father remains and is likely 
long to remain in pretty much the same state. There is little dif- 
ference of opinion among the eminent physicians who have seen 
him as to the fact that the malady has its seat in the brain; more 
they cannot tell, and after trying various drugs, they have virtually 
abandoned the hope of a cure. As I think I told you, the malady is 
intermittent and attended during the fits with derangement of 
mind. So that, my step-mother being crippled by rheumatic gout, 
and there being no other member of the family who can take my 
place, my constant presence here is indispensable. 

This fis] a very rural spot, eight miles from the nearest town — 
further than I am now able to ride — a proof of my diminished 
strength, for a few years ago I could ride after foxhounds all day 
without fatigue. It is a pleasant country and this house itself is 
pleasant, but the only society is that of a few squires, with whom I 
take care to keep on good terms, but with whom I have of course little 
in common, and who probably regard me in their hearts as a very 
subtle and noxious kind of poacher. The nature of my Father's 
malady prevents our having any visitors in the house; and my 
Father and his wife pass half their time in their own room; so that 
my life is very solitary. I have however got my books, and my pen 
ought to be active. But somehow I have never found solitude 
favourable to industry. I want the prospective reward of a social 
evening to carry me through a laborious morning. And moreover, 
though I have nothing particular the matter with me, so far as I 
know, my physical energy does not return. It does not return in 
spite of early hours, regular rides, and a very animal existence. 
My article for the North American is, I am sorry to say, not the only 
thing in arrear. The only thing I have done in the literary way 


for some months past is the publication of some lectures which I 
delivered in the winter for the fund of the Jamaica Committee, and 
of which I have sent you a copy. 

One lively though mute companion I have in a very handsome 
.dog which I found chained up and passing his life very miserably 
under the dire suspicion of a tendency to poaching. I have ven- 
tured to set him free, and he now accompanies me in my rides, 
leads a new life, and overwhelms me with his gratitude. 

I read the Boston Advertiser and the Nation which some kind 
hand (is it yours?) sends me regularly; but I am glad to have your 
more private and authentic account of what is going on in my second 
country. The only thing which seems to me to portend peril is 
the management of the finances. There is evidently great extrava- 
gance and a most insane delusion on the fatal subject of paper 
currency. As to Protection, I think it cannot be very long-lived. 
So practical a people must soon apprehend the fact that they would 
raise their revenue from import duties fifty per cent at least, and 
at. the same time afford great relief to the consumer by substituting 
a revenue for a protective tariff. 

Your industrial disputes and difficulties are being worked by the 
enemies of the artisan class here. But it is evident to me that from 
the comparative faintness of the distinction between classes among 
you, these struggles are not really so bitter or so dangerous as they 
are with us. The fact is that a new era is opening in the Industrial 
history of the whole world — stormily as new eras always do. As 
hired labour isolated and exposed to unlimited competition, suc- 
ceeded to the serfdom of the Middle Ages, so this in its turn is going 
to give place to cooperation. The great laws of Political Economy 
are not going to be subverted, but the science is going to receive an 
extension and to produce a rational organization of labour in place 
of the irrational organization and the Protection which it has over- 

I do however seriously fear a crash in your currency, the derange- 
ment of which has, in part, a good deal to do with the present fre- 
quency of strikes. 

The Tories have carried their Reform Bill. I suppose you see 
their game. Bright wished to enfranchise all the educated part of 
the working classes at once, and after a time, when popular education 
had been extended, to enfranchise the rest. But this would not 
have suited Toryism. So the Tories have gone at once to house- 
hold suffrage and their hope is that they may overwhelm the more 
enlightened artisans by the help of a rabble which they reckon on 
leading by intimidation and corruption. Thus we are threatened 
(I am afraid it would be rash to say that we are not seriously threat- 

I9I5-] LETTERS OF GOLDWIN SMITH, 1863-1872. 143 

ened) with the rule of a combined oligarchy and rabble analogous 
to your Democratic party. The disclosure of rottenness in our 
House of Commons has been truly terrible, and most ominous 
for the future of the Country. Bright, thank Heaven, has be- 
haved most nobly, and we have more reason to be proud of him 
than ever. 

I am going to give letters of introduction to you to Macmillan, 
one of our great publishers and a very nice fellow, and to Lord and 
Lady Amberley, whom I am sure you will like. Lord Amberley, 
as you know is the son and heir of Lord Russell. His wife is the 
daughter of Lord Stanley of Alderley, and a very pleasant and lively 
little woman. With best love to all your party, Ever yours 
sincerely, Goldwin Smith. 

Brooklyn, Monday, Nov. 9, 1868. 

My dear Norton, — I am afraid this will find you still detained 
by your illness at Keston, though I trust, long ere this, Mrs. Norton's 
cause for anxiety will be past. Her letter was the last thing put into 
my hands in England, and I felt most grateful to her for it. 

I had a bad passage, with head winds almost the whole way, and 
suffered accordingly like a land-lubber as I am. But being on the 
saloon deck, I had my port open a great part of the time, and did 
not suffer from suffocation as well as sickness, as I do in the bowels 
of a Cunarder. And then there was no Judkins to kick me with his 
sea-boots. Seriously, I am afraid it is an unpatriotic sentiment, but 
the people I like least to be amongst, when I am down, are the 
upper class of my own countrymen. I was the only Englishman on 
board; but there were some pleasant Americans whose society was 
cheering in the intervals of sea-sickness. 

The German boats are German: they are not so clean as the 
Cunarders, and there is evidently nothing like such strict discipline, 
and therefore I suppose not the same safety; but in point of general 
comfort, I think they deserve your attention. The position of the 
cabins on the saloon deck, where you can have the port open, is an 
immense advantage. 

The last time I landed in America, the first news which greeted 
me was the fall of Atlanta: this time it was the election of Grant. 
I hear he bears his victory with his usual modesty and refuses all 
ovations. I hope and believe that he will rule this country well. 
It seems to me that the Democratic party can hardly hold to- 
gether any longer on the Slavery and Secession platform. If 
it will reorganize itself on a Free Trade and Financial Reform 
Platform it may yet do some good in the world. But it is hard 


to believe that any good can come out of the Democracy of New 

I go on this evening by the Erie Railway to Ithaca, and as about 
one train in every three on the average arrives at its destination 
safely on that line, and seven out of the last ten have smashed, 
there is a fair chance of my being at Cornell College to-morrow 
morning. White is overworked and unwell and I believe might be 
glad of any little assistance I can give him. Matters are still in an 
unfinished state, and I dare say as Mrs. Norton says we shall be 
rather barbarous as regards creature comforts; but depend upon it 
I shall manage to live, and all I hear increases my interest in Cornell 
and his enterprise. He is at present in some difficulties, as I think, 
I gather, from taking boys who have vague aspirations after knowl- 
edge, but who, never having gone through the middle grade of 
education, and hardly the primary grade, are of course unfit for the 
higher. This a little experience will probably teach him; and then 
will come the time, if my old world training is good for anything, 
for rendering him such service as is in my power. I trust White 
is not going to break down. 

I accepted the invitation of the gentleman x with whom I am 
staying, and who is a writer in the Tribune and like his chief a good 
friend of Cornell, in preference to other offers of hospitality which 
presented themselves at my landing with more than American kind- 
ness, partly because I wished for two days' thorough rest, partly 
because if I had been in New York itself, I could hardly have avoided 
a reception at the Union League; and, though my heart is still in 
the same place, I feel that absolute political neutrality is essential 
to my position here. But in the winter I hope to get back here for 
a week, and to see Godkin and George Curtis, to both of whom I 
am drawn as strongly as you could desire. 

The current of political strife must now be beginning to boil and 
eddy round you in England as it draws nearer to the elections. I 
am not sorry to be out of it, and to be connected again, though 
slightly, with the work which will go on when all these parties are 
numbered with the past. 

When I am strong enough to speak for an hour I shall probably 
give a sort of inaugural lecture at Ithaca; but I am in no hurry to 
begin my course. Agassiz is lecturing at present. 

My best love to all your party. Ever yours most affectionately ? 

Goldwin Smith. 

1 The description fits Thomas N. Rooker, who aided Greeley in getting out 
the first issue of the New York Tribune and held some position on the paper 
until his death. 

I9I5-J LETTERS OF GOLDWIN SMITH, 1863-1872. 145 

Ithaca, March 10, 1869. 

My dear Norton, — Your report of Fishmonger's Hall and of 
the Government generally coincides only too exactly with my own 
misgivings. Bright however will subside. He is pleased, if I mis- 
take not, with his position and touched by Royalty, which touched 
even Cromwell : he will learn to be discreet and a Minister. At the 
same time he will probably lose his influence — which for some 
reason, perhaps because he was an employer never was very great 
— over the working men. 

The working men will then be without a leader. Mill has their 
respect, but he has never quite found his way to their hearts; and 
for reasons to me inscrutable he has planted himself in dogged op- 
position to the Ballot, which to the working men and all their class 
is a matter of political life or death. 

As to Gladstone, I have seen too much of him not to be aware 
that he is no Hercules. But he is pure, he has a strong sense of 
justice (let us never forget what his worldly-wise friends thought of 
his Italian escapade), he is a really vigorous economical reformer, he 
is serious and makes other people serious: government is not with 
him a game at chess or a harlequinade. His was the best figure on 
the whole to which you could turn the eyes of the newly enfran- 
chised working-men. 

Lowe will very likely give trouble. His appointment, 1 after his 
treachery — for it was not only secession but treachery — was an 
ignominious necessity, if it was a necessity at all. I would have 
turned him out neck and crop without compunction or fear. His 
intellect is high of its type, but the type is not high. He is thoroughly 
selfish and unscrupulously ambitious. Treachery and cabal have 
marked his whole career; and what you saw in his face at Fish- 
monger's Hall was probably the dawn of some conspiracy against 
his chief. 

Of course a Ministry swarming with aristocrats cannot go far. 
Aristocracy is a personal as well as a political weakness of our chief. 
But with such a Parliament as money sent him, what could he have 

Hankering after clerical support is another of his weaknesses. 
It comes out, among other failings, in his pamphlet on the Irish 
Church. Fortunately at this moment the Ritualists, who are his 
particular Delilahs, are rather in Free Church mood. But their 
influence keeps him and always will keep him personally estranged 

1 As Chancellor of the Exchequer in December, 1868. His conduct on the 
Reform Bill of 1866 had raised enemies, but he later confessed that he had him- 
self "been deceived and betrayed." 


from those by cordial union with whom alone he could do great 

The clergy in the late elections did their worst. They banded 
themselves everywhere with landlord coercion and corruption, for 
a caste purpose, against the vital interests of the nation. A firm 
ruler would now say to them, 'There are great social dangers and 
problems to be dealt with: you cannot be allowed interminably to 
stop the way. You must choose whether you will have the Irish 
Church disestablished with regard for vested interests or without.' 
My belief is that if this language was held to them by a strong man 
with the nation at his back, in twenty-four hours there would be 
nothing left but work for actuaries and legal draughtsmen. But 
the leader of a plutocratic House of Commons has to begin with an 
assurance that nothing shall in any case be done which can touch 
one fibre of anything that anybody can call property: and this of 
course is a license to the clergy to hold out as long as they can and by 
any means in their power. I should not be surprised by a very weak 

I am glad I am only a spectator; and with a safe conscience; for, 
as I said before, it is clear that I should have missed my election. 

Grant's Inauguration Speech buries Repudiation; and now I 
hope we shall have honest conversion of the debt and reduced taxes. 
In other respects our Deliverer has, I fear, made a bad start. His 
address is not only ill written but much of it is weak : here and there, 
as in the " strong box" passage, it verges upon something below 
weakness. I began at last to smell an infirmity in his ostentation of 
reticence and secrecy. 

Surely it is not self-reliance, but want of self-reliance, if anything, 
that makes a man who has an important public document to write, 
and knows he can hardly express himself grammatically, shrink 
from submitting his draught to some private friend for literary 

The illegal appointment of Stewart 1 was unlucky: the attempt to 
get a dispensation still more so. Nor can I believe that independ- 
ently of the legal objection, Stewart was well chosen. I have not seen 
much of him; but I am greatly mistaken if he is not a man whose 
success is due to the smallest mercantile qualities, not to anything 
that would make him a great finance minister. 

The other appointments seem to create no enthusiasm. From 
what I saw of Judge Hoar 2 I should say (but it is a mere impres- 
sion) that he was a very good man. Unluckily in the reconstruction 

1 Alexander Turney Stewart (1803-1876). 

2 Ebenezer Rockwood Hoar (1816-1895). 

I9I5-1 LETTERS OF GOLDWIN SMITH, 1863-1872 147 

entailed by Stewart's withdrawal he seems likely to be eliminated 
in deference to the geographical superstition. 

Major Whittlesey l the head of our military department, is a 
personal friend of Grant and himself a neutral in politics. His 
picture of Grant does not raise my hopes. However the American 
buggy gets through sloughs in which the state coach of a European 
Monarchy would stick fast. 

Grant will now, I suppose, be thrown back upon the politicians 
of the party, of whom he aspired to be independent. One danger 
at all events, which I think had just begun to loom — that of his 
playing Jupiter after the fashion of the deceased Andrew — is 
henceforth to be feared no more. If he had any old Democratic 
leanings, the language of the Democratic organs during the last 
week must have knocked them out of him. With the Republican 
party he must live or die. 

The Copper Tariff, as it is the most extreme, so I think it will 
be the last outrage of the Tariff Ring. I understand that it was felt 
to be so suicidal that some of the Democrats withdrew from the 
House to let it pass over the Veto. Protection will now begin to 
go down hill. But will it not carry the Republican party with it? 

I went the other day to Albany, read a paper on University Edu- 
cation to the Social Science Association 2 and spent a few mornings 
in the Legislature. The tone is not high: once or twice a decidedly 
low tone came out: but there was no rowdyism: not much time was 
wasted in talk; and though they would be the better for a little more 
red-tape, a stricter enforcement of the standing orders and less 
facility of adjournment, the business seemed to me on the whole 
well done. It is difficult to get at facts about corruption : but doubt- 
less corruption there is: everybody says there was bribery the other 
day in the election of the Senator. Strange to say however, Morton 
[Morgan?] who lost is a man of great wealth: Fen ton who won a 
man of moderate fortune. 3 

Politics here whatever else they may be, are coarse; and passion 
always takes the form of charges of corruption. Therefore I do not 
pay much attention to anything not substantiated by specific facts. 

A little storm (between ourselves) has passed over Cornell. Its 
origin, the imperial tendency of the American Eagle to set his in- 
stitutions running on the most magnificent scale before he is quite 
fixed up. Our money is invested in pine lands, which in a few years 
will be valuable and make us rich. Meantime we are poor. But we 

1 Joseph Hotchkiss Whittlesey (1821-1886), who held this professorship in 

2 Annual, American Social Science Association, I. 

3 Fenton succeeded Edwin D. Morgan in the Senate. 


have opened all the departments as though we were in possession 
of our wealth. The Professors are necessarily underpaid. They 
remonstrate, and I fear are not yet quite satisfied as to their future 
prospects. Their discontent, and that of their wives, was somewhat 
aggravated by the mismanagement of this boarding-house, in 
which, for want of house accommodation, they are compelled to live. 
And certainly the cuisine is unspeakable. I have been obliged to 
take to boarding partly down town at the hotel. To eat greasy 
leather is difiicult; to digest it with a mere British stomach is impos- 
sible. I am not furnished by nature like an American gentleman who 
sat next me the other day at the hotel at Port Jervis and who cut a 
beefsteak on which my knife would scarcely make any impression 
into pieces which he then swallowed, literally, as if they had been so 
many oysters. 

On the other hand Mr. McGraw, 1 a lumber merchant, a very 
plain man, living in a small house and in the simplest way, has just 
given us fifty thousand dollars to build a library. His wife and 
daughter have also given handsome presents. There is no such 
public spirit as that of Cornell and McGraw among the same class 
of men in the old world. Their aspirations are diverted to baronet- 
cies and tinsel. 

White is amiably but unluckily anxious to prevent my seeing the 
less bright side of things. It is therefore very difiicult for me to 
advise him or even to talk to him upon these subjects. So far as I 
can, I try to keep him from spending more money in flashy public 
lectures (of which we have far too many already) and other unsub- 
stantial things, and to get him to turn all his resources, limited as 
they are, to the provision of means for hard work. I plead however 
for a little beauty, if it can be had cheap, in the buildings, which are 
in danger of being very hideous. I believe I have also done some- 
thing towards averting, for the present, female students, a crotchet 
of Horace Greeley, who was driving us in that direction apace. All 
this of course entirely between ourselves. 

Curtis and Lowell come to lecture next term. I regard their ar- 
rival socially with unmixed pleasure; academically with mixed 
feelings. They will both be most brilliant I have no doubt : and the 
more brilliant they are, the less inclined our boys will be after 
hearing them to go back to the hard work by which alone any solid 
results can be attained. Their names throw a false halo round us 
which in the end does no good to anybody or anything. I have come 
to think thus by experience of our peculiar defects and weaknesses; 
and I dare say you will understand me though you may not agree 

1 John McGraw (181 5-1877). 

I9I5-1 LETTERS OF GOLDWIN SMITH, 1863-1872. 149 

with me. The lesson of thorough hard study is the one which these 
people have to learn. 

They will listen to Curtis, Lowell, and D wight l generalizing on 
their respective subjects, without knowing any of the facts on which 
the generalizations are based, and go away fancying themselves on 
a level with the most advanced thought of the age. 

I am happy to say the standard at entrance is being raised — an 
improvement for which we cannot be too thankful. 

The high opinion which I formed of our staff of resident profes- 
sors remains unshaken. I only trust their position may be made 
what it ought to be and that we may retain not only their services 
but their devotion. Major Whittlesey I fear is not likely to stay. 
His military good sense and powers of management have been of 
the greatest value amidst early difficulties and his departure will be 
a serious loss. 

I am so glad that the English climate has been kind to you. Your 
picture of the primroses and snowdrops made me feel a little home- 
sick. The American winter has done me no harm, but it beginneth 
to be a bore unto me. Snow, snow, snow for three long months, and 
all that time scarcely a glimpse of the sunshine; for round these 
hills there gathers, I suppose from the Lakes, a mass of cloud through 
which the sun seldom breaks. I really do not think we have had a 
week in the aggregate of bright weather since the middle of Novem- 
ber when I arrived here. Now, we are alternate frost and slush: in 
time, I suppose we shall settle into slush, and then pass into summer, 
which ought to be pleasant here. I shall not visit England before 
the autumn ; but I shall probably come then and stay till the spring. 
Health and happiness to you all. Ever yours sincerely, 

Goldwin Smith. 

P.S. I cannot say that I deplore the failure of the Alabama 
negotiations. My resentment against the English Aristocracy and 
Plutocracy is as deeply seated as that of any American, and I do 
not think that a money fine levied on the whole English nation, 
much less a war waged against the whole English nation and the 
sufferings of which would fall mainly on the innocent masses, 
would satisfy the ends of justice. The ends of justice will be best 
satisfied by the victory of the English people in the coming struggle 
over the Aristocracy and Plutocracy, to which the American people 
may materially — there is no saying to what extent — contribute. 

I should have explained that my intended visit to England in the 
autumn will be in fulfilment of a promise to my step-mother: it is 

1 Theodore William Dwight, non-resident professor of American Constitu- 
tional Law, 1869-1877. 


not that I am afraid of another American winter. I really have 
suffered less from cold here than I used to do in England. 

The last news from Washington rather revives my hopes of 
Grant. He seems to be making good appointments. I like also his 
cancelling one of the late Scoundrel's pardons. 

Prof. A. Gurney has tolled to you, of course, as well as to me the 
knell of the North American. Killed, no doubt, by the piratical 
republication of the English reviews. American literature pays 
dear for the gains of the great pirate houses of New York. Nothing 
left one now but the Magazines, where one is padding for scalla- 
wags like Charles Reade. 

G. S. 

Spencer Springs, N. Y., August 30, 1869. 

My dear Norton, — I have long had your last letter and Mrs. 
Norton's on my conscience; but I have been so languid that every 
thing but the day's work has been put off to to-morrow, and all my 
correspondence is in arrear. 

Your illness in the autumn turned out as I expected, a success. 
It would have been a thousand pities if you had missed the winter 
in England. You have now seen our political life thoroughly and 
will be able to guide the judgment of your countrymen, and I hope 
their feelings a little too, when you return to this country. Besides 
this, both you and Mrs. Norton seem to have enjoyed yourselves, 
and you have certainly made as strong an impression as it was pos- 
sible to make on the rather hard though bright mind of London. 

You are now I trust spending an equally pleasant summer at 
Vevey. I have spent many happy months in Switzerland with my 
knapsack. The last time I was at Vevey I had come down from the 
Dent de Jaman drenched by a thunder storm between the Jura and 
the Alps which fully realized the passage in Childe Harold. 

Ithaca, even the hill on which we live, is rather sultry, though 
otherwise delightful in summer, and I have come to this little 
watering place among the hills for fresher air. Our company con- 
sists mainly of middle class people from three or four neighbouring 
towns. In manners and conversation I should say they are decidedly 
above the same class in England. We live together very sociably 
and very simply: no attempt at finery. I pick up a good deal from 
this free intercourse with people whom I might not otherwise see. 

Yesterday I was at a Methodist Camp Meeting. The Methodist 
Church besides its general power and importance is specially inter- 
esting at this moment because it seems about to wrestle with R. 
Catholicism for the ignorant masses and particularly the enfran- 
chised blacks. The camp meeting was in a grove at Spencer, the 

191 5-] LETTERS OF GOLDWIN SMITH, 1863-1872. 151 

neighbouring village. About 6000 or 7000 people were there. The 
"Conversions" were not very numerous. That element seems to 
have fallen into a secondary place, the meeting being now primarily 
a reunion of the members of the Church in the district — half fes- 
tive, half religious. Some funny things were said, of course. In a 
sermon on faith the people were told to trust God about things 
unseen as they had trusted the Tribune in voting for General Grant. 
They were promised that if they were good they should be stars in 
Heaven and be observed by astronomers there, etc. There was some 
very wild and almost orgiastic praying going on in some of the 
tents, but nothing very offensive reached my ear in the public serv- 
ices. Perhaps the worst was a very broad exhortation to pretty 
girls to come to the altar and draw their admirers after them. There 
was a hollowness about the conversion part of the business and the 
manner of the ministers urging the people to come up and be saved 
reminded me very much of a showman wheedling the crowd into a 
show at a fair. But nothing could spoil "Rock of Ages" sung by a 
multitude at night in a grove lighted up with fires of pine. Loyola 
has nothing so good as that, and though he is not trammelled with 
the doctrine of sudden conversion he has other things which are 
as bad for him in an educated country. Against him at all events 
we may wish Wesley God speed. 

What an organizing genius Wesley had! I fear Democracy is 
going to mar his work just at this crisis by forcing upon it Lay 

One of my last experiences is Saratoga, where I passed a day — 
one day was enough. Oh the Shoddy and the Petroleum! When 
vulgar wealth does display itself in this country, it whips creation. 
I was amused among other things with the cockades in the servants' 
hats, evidently borrowed from England, where the ornament 
denotes that the Master is an officer in the army; so that to an Eng- 
lish eye, the hats might as well be decorated with the order of the 

Fourteen English artisans with their families have come to Ithaca 
and are engaged partly on the University buildings, and partly on 
the Palazzo Cornell. They tell me that the wood work in the Uni- 
versity Buildings would not be passed for the commonest labourer's 
cottage in England; and the stone work is if possible worse. One 
of them said something on the subject to the superintendent of the 
works, and the answer was "If you are going to five in this country, 
you must learn to get along: what they want here is not quality 
but quantity." I found that the wood on which the men were work- 
ing was unseasoned. They told me their labour was wasted on it. 
I mentioned it to Mr. Cornell. "Well," he said, "I guess we do 


use our timber rather greener than you." " But it will start." " Well, 
I guess it does start some." If your people do not take care they 
will have a real decadence of industrial skill. The Englishmen who 
are themselves approved masters of their trades, tell me that the 
American workmen do not know common things and that they work 
without proper drawings or method; such is certainly the case with 
the boarding house in which we live, which was evidently built 
without a working plan. I am afraid an immense amount of labour 
and of material too, especially timber, is being used up in work 
which will not last many years. This is not pioneering, but exhaus- 

It is not at Spencer Springs that one hears political secrets. Grant 
seems to have pretty well settled down into his place in public opinion 
as an honest and patriotic but commonplace man, out of his element 
in politics; the horse and cigar element pretty prominent in him. On 
the other hand the belief still prevails that he is very much under the 
influence of the Attorney General, in which case I think all will go 
well. Hamilton Fish too seems to hold his own. Your Government 
unconsciously appointed a Fenian as Consul at Glasgow; ours 
pointed out the fact, and the nomination was at once withdrawn in 
a very courteous way, in spite of the tirades of the Tribune. 

Sumner is I think now generally discredited. But I can hardly 
hold with you that his speech l was no more than one of Roebuck's. 
He was the Chairman of the Committee of Foreign Relations. The 
Senate removed the seal of secrecy and allowed him to give publicly 
the reasons for the rejection of the Treaty. No other reasons were 
ever given. All the Senators who spoke supported Sumner; and 
Thayer, 2 who was present, has stated, in opposition to Grimes, who 
was not, that there was a general feeling that the speech expressed 
the views of the body. If such a thing as this is not serious, I think 
it ought to be so. And there can be no doubt as to the good effect 
which the serious reception of it in England produced here. The 
sounder sentiment of the people was at once manifested, the tone 
of the newspapers, which at first was insolent and aggressive to the 
last degree, was at once changed, and the language and policy of the 
Government were fixed on the side of moderation. 

I only hope our Government will settle the matter with the 
American people before Congress meets and the politicians get to 
work again. The politicians want to keep the quarrel open for their 
own purposes. I detest the whole tribe, Republican and Democratic 
alike, more every day I spend here. Who can tolerate sanctimoni- 

1 On April 13, 1869, in Executive Session of the Senate, on the Johnson- 
Clarendon treaty. Works, xm. 53. 

2 John M. Thayer, of Nebraska. 

IQI5-] LETTERS OF GOLD WIN SMITH, 1863-1872. 1 53 

ous lectures on high morality from Mr. Sumner, who pushes the 
nominations of Ashley 1 and Sickles 2 and sits complacently with 
Fenton at his side? 

The business men are I think generally anxious for a quiet settle- 
ment of the question, and their indirect influence on politics appears 
to be rather on the increase. I am afraid however that the influence 
of the Irish is increasing also. 

The Democratic papers began to abuse me as soon as I landed. 
After my speech on the Alabama the whole press poured on me 
vituperation which was to the vituperation of English papers as 
the contents of a cesspool are to those of a gutter. In public matters, 
if I mistake not, this nation is the slave of its Press : no public man 
dares stand against the newspapers. But privately the attacks did 
me no sort of harm: it seemed to me on the contrary that people 
were kinder to me than ever. Even the newspapers have since 
grown rather civil again. Of course I take care to remain perfectly 
neutral in American politics. I never take part in anything that 
has the slightest political tinge and mind what I say even in private 

I have reason to be grateful to Curtis, who said a kind word for 
me in season in Harper's at the time when all the other journals 
were abusing me. 

The country has been in a state of preposterous excitement about 
the International Boat Race. As the result of the Heenan and 
Sayers prize fight saved you, perhaps, from being thoroughly 
inoculated with our prize-ring ruffianism, the result of this race may 
save you from being inoculated with our mania for athletics, which, 
as Grant Duff truly says, is fast becoming a national calamity. To 
judge by the language that was held, if the Harvards had won, you 
would have been in some danger of having one of them run for Presi- 
dent. The World in a leading article on the race, in leaded type, 
said that it had overshadowed the Alabama wrong. 

We have had some signal illustrations of the state of the Judiciary 
in connexion with the Erie and Susquehanna Railroad war. Judges 
were used on both sides as weapons. One judge is stated to have 
signed an order in the office of one of the parties without hearing 
the other side, and nobody seems to think the statement incredible. 
It is undoubted that the other day in New York a judge (Cardozo 3 

1 James Monroe Ashley (1824-1896), recently appointed Governor of Mon- 
tana. He had been Chairman of the Committee on Territories and was impli- 
cated in some dubious transactions with a land speculator named Case. 

2 Sickles was confirmed as United States Minister to Spain, May 15, 1869. 

3 Albert Cardozo, an Associate Justice of the General Term from December, 


I think it was) requested his colleagues on the bench to make a 
writ of Habeas Corpus in the case of a person whom he had improp- 
erly committed, returnable before himself, and that his colleagues 
acceded to his request. This state of things cannot last ; nor can the 
state of police under which Owego, a little town in this neighbour- 
hood has been for some weeks in the hands of desperadoes who 
murder and rob pretty much at their pleasure, and make the streets 
unsafe after dark. 

America has passed out of the phase in which it was observed by 
De Tocqueville, and the same institutions — the same adminis- 
trative institutions, at least — will fit her no longer. The " Imperial- 
ist" is said to have a large circulation. If so, it is one of the signs of 
a growing sense of the necessity of administrative change. 

I hold that the British Provinces must soon become independent; 
but I should be sorry at present to see them merged in the States. 
They form a sort of reserve force which may retrieve some of the 
false steps of Democracy on this continent. In the Judiciary they 
are a hundred years ahead of most of the States. 

Mrs. Norton speaks of a report that I am tired of Cornell and 
about to return to England. I do not know how it can have arisen, 
unless from a silly paragraph in the Pall Mall, which was copied by 
the Times, saying that I should be driven back to England by the 
abuse of the American Press. On the contrary, I have given up my 
plan of passing the winter in England, finding that no family duty 
will call me, and being glad to escape both the voyage and the un- 
settlement. Probably I shall avoid the winter dulness of Ithaca, 
which is rather depressing, by a visit to Canada, where a part of 
my family reside; that is, unless I find a warm climate necessary, 
which I hope I shall not. 

Through a series of accidents, I have not yet had the North 
American in my hands long enough to read your article on English 
Pauperism. I shall get it on my return to Ithaca this evening. I 
am so glad that the N. A. is to live. 

With best love to all your party, ever yours sincerely, 

Goldwin Smith. 

Ithaca, July 17, 1870. 

My dear Norton, — When I was at Philadelphia in the winter, 
Field handed me a delightful letter from you, and I do not know 
what I deserve for not having written to you before. 

I will now talk to you not about public affairs, of which you get 
better accounts than I can give you, but of Cornell University and 
its Professor of English History. 

So far, and in essential respects, the University is flourishing. 

IQI5-] LETTERS OF GOLDWIN SMITH, 1863-1872. 1 55 

Its numbers increase. The indications point to a freshman class of 
350 next term, which, I fear, will exceed our teaching power. The 
'religious' world has attacked us fiercely through all its Gospel 
Messengers and Trumpets of Sion ; but the only effect has been to in- 
crease our popularity and to reveal the fact that the ' irreligious ' inter- 
est in this country is increasing in strength. Your humble servant 
individually comes in for his share of compliments as a Rational- 
ist; but as no harm is done to the University, none is done to me. 

We have excellent material to work on. Our students, young 
farmers and mechanics for the most part, are rough outside and in- 
side; but they have the root of the matter in them. They are, as a 
body, very industrious and self-denying and remarkably well be- 
haved. We hardly ever hear a complaint of them in the town. 
Their manners also, though not polished, are essentially good. My 
intercourse with them is very pleasant to me, and increasingly so 
the more I see of them. I feel that altogether they are worthy of 
everything I can do for them. They take very kindly to history and 
do well in their examinations; and as many of them will probably 
push their way in the world I hope any historical wisdom or lessons 
of honour which they pick up will some day be useful to their nation. 

My high opinion of our staff of Professors is also confirmed. It 
does the highest credit to White's judgment in selecting it. I do 
not think I ever had to do with a set of men whose character and 
ability I esteemed more highly. The only question is whether they 
can be held together. Three, and three of the most valuable, are 
leaving us at this moment. 

Our Finances also, in spite of some present awkwardness, seem 
prosperous; and if the lands are tolerably well sold (as I think the 
business powers of Cornell and the Trustees guarantee that they 
will be) our endowment will be — not 21^ millions as Tom Hughes 
says in Macmillan — but enough, with wise management, to main- 
tain a very noble institution. You know that we depend on our 
endowments, our tuition fees being nominal, and a large proportion 
of the students being exempt altogether. On the other hand there 
are difficulties and dangers, all flowing from the same source — the 
educational inexperience of the Founder and his leading associates 
among the Trustees. Cornell is by nature evidently somewhat 
self-confident and self-willed. He has been praised highly and with 
the greatest justice, for his munificence; and he not unpardonably 
takes the praise as extending to his wisdom in the management of 
his foundation. 

Everybody advised him against the choice of this situation. 
White actually offered him half his fortune if he would go to Syra- 
cuse or one of the other cities. But I think it is in the Promessi 


Sposi that somebody says that there is no pleasure so keen as that 
of being great in the place where you once were little; and this I 
suppose it was that made Cornell inflexible in his determination to 
have his College at Ithaca. We are completely cut off from con- 
veniences, from society, from the intellectual world. This affects 
me little, because I can go away when I like and because I desire 
nothing more than a quiet corner with my books. But it will tell 
— it is already telling on the staff; though if you were to say so to 
Cornell, it would seem as strange to him as that the masons employed 
on the buildings should object to the locality so long as they get 
their wages. Besides this, the place from its vicinity to an exten- 
sive marsh is certainly unhealthy. The people are unwilling to 
admit this, but those who have resided here and gone away, includ- 
ing medical men, all say so; and it must be the fact. We had a 
severe epidemic in the winter, and a panic in consequence; and there 
is no remedy but by lowering the Lake, a costly operation, and one 
which it appears the State would not permit. 

The University buildings stand apart on a high hill. Cornell has 
bought up all the land round them far and near, except the portion 
owned by the University itself, over which he has absolute control. 
He will let none of it go out of his hands. Scarcely has leave been 
obtained for some of the professors to build on the University land. 
No boarding houses can be built for the students near the Uni- 
versity. The greater part of them board down in the town, and 
have to climb the hill to their work, and as we cannot ask them to 
do this more than once a day, we can have no recitations after the 
dinner hour. Some are in this boarding house, which being under 
the control of Cornell himself, who has no time to attend to it, is 
left in bad hands and very ill managed. Some are in the dormitories 
and have to come over to this building, which is a third of a mile 
off, for their meals. The want of proper provision in the dormitories 
themselves not only for comfort but for cleanliness, and the absence 
of all needful appliances in case of sickness, are such as if I were 
responsible I could not tolerate for an hour. Cornell rules all and 
he does not know what is wanted. His buying up of the land round 
the buildings has given rise, I believe, to sinister reports. But I 
have no doubt that he means what is right and has some good object 
in view. If however he should die and the land should go to his heirs, 
we might be in a scrape. The State, as part founder, should have 
looked to all this, as well as to the choice of a situation. 

Again, these people do not know how to treat Professors, nor the 
value of good ones. The Professors are sadly underpaid. It is true 
the revenues at present are limited; but then they should have 
commenced with a smaller staff and a limited number of students 

I9I5-1 LETTERS OF GOLDWIN SMITH, 1863-1872. 157 

instead of being ambitious as they are to show as large a list as pos- 
sible; and at all events they should meet the representations of the 
professors, who have not enough to live on, with more consideration 
and less in the spirit of employers hiring mechanics, than I fear, 
from what I learn, they do. I reserve my little fund of influence 
for this point, and use it as well as I can. 

But the worst of all is that we are made the corpus vile for ex- 
periments. Our system may be almost said to be a congeries of 
experiments, against which we are held up by our elements of 
strength and especially by the ability of the Faculty; and we think 
ourselves lucky in having escaped Horace Greeley's proposal of 
compulsory labour for all, including I believe the professors — to 
which, however, being fond of exercise I should personally have had 
no objection. Cornell intends, as soon as he gets some money, to 
employ it in setting up a chair manufactory, by way of an append- 
age to this seat of learning. However I hoped that all these fancies 
would in course of time be sloughed off or reduced to tolerable 
dimensions: but now comes one which if once introduced cannot 
be sloughed off, and which will totally alter the whole character of 
the institution. We had a visit some time ago from Miss Susan 
Anthony, who told Cornell, who presided at her meeting, that if he 
would have female students here "his anniversary would be regarded 
by posterity as equal to the Fourth of July or the Coming of Christ." 
It seems he has now made up his mind to respond to this appeal and 
to accept the donation of Mr. Sage, 1 a philanthropic lumber-merchant 
who offers a handsome sum for the erection of a female dormitory. 
All the experience of Oberlin and similar institutions seems to prove 
that they do not rise above the third rank in point of scholarship, 
and that the result of the system is a fatal relaxation of the student's 
energy, not to mention any objections there may be of a deeper 
kind. The opinion on the subject is such that I do not believe that 
a good staff of professors could be held together if we were turned 
into an Oberlin. Our faculty is almost unanimously opposed to the 
measure, but it seems to be taken for granted that no notice would 
be taken of their objection. 

If the President could have his own way all would go well. But 
he is not strong enough — not strong enough physically — to get 
his own way against a taciturn, resolute man like Cornell, whose 
ignorance of the subject quenches the lightnings of the gods. There 
are no limits to White's self-sacrifice; but if instead of offering Cornell 
half his fortune to go elsewhere he had firmly refused to come here, 
he would, besides saving himself a strain which has half killed him, 

1 Henry Williams Sage (1814-1897). 


have probably done the greatest service to Cornell and his 

I hope some Power of Good will intervene. I am very much at- 
tached to these students — as attached as ever I was to my Oxford 
pupils. I like my colleagues. I respect Cornell's character and 
munificence as much as ever, and feel as strongly as ever that my 
life is well spent in aiding his enterprise. The people in Ithaca are 
as kind as possible. I do not know what I should do if I were set 
adrift again, for at my age the possibilities of life close in. But I do 
not think I could be a professor in an Oberlin. This place unluckily 
does not agree with me very well. It was the effect of malaria, as 
much as cold, that sent me to Philadelphia, and my medical man 
even tells me that I must not think of living here regularly. But I 
am going to try a change of boarding-place to the house of one of 
our Professors, who is going to build and will set apart two rooms 
for me; and so far as health goes, I shall fight it out, if possible, on 
this line. 

What waste of resources and feebleness of result are caused by 
this system of scattering the Colleges! If all the Colleges in this 
State were brought together and federated into a University like 
the Colleges of Oxford they might be a great institution. They 
might maintain a common staff of higher teachers, libraries, labora- 
tories, etc; and they might have an impartial board to hold exami- 
nations and confer degrees which would then be worth something. 
The religious difficulty would be solved by an undenominational 
University with Colleges as sectarian as they pleased. The great- 
ness of the institution would raise the social position of learned and 
scientific men. I preach this whenever I have a fair chance; but 
local prejudice is very strong and very ignorant. Still as the best 
men see the truth, something may be done some day. 

I hear you have another little daughter. May the world into 
which she has come smile on her, for her parents' sake and her own! 

Your account of your residence at Florence is charming. Per- 
haps if Cornell insists on upsetting itself, and I have no more ties 
of any other kind than I have now, you may see me there yet before 
your departure, though Madeira is the sedes senectae to which my 
fancy points. 

I hope you are all well: my best love to you all. Yours affec- 

Goldwin Smith. 

Toronto, Canada, Sep. 9, 1872. 

My dear Norton, — I have little doubt that you are right in 
surmising that a letter has gone astray. I directed to the place 

191 5-] LETTERS OF GOLDWIN SMITH, 1 863-187 2. 1 59 

from which you had last written to me, and was afterwards told 
that I had done wrong and that I ought to have directed to Barings. 
There was nothing of consequence in the letter, nor could it, if 
opened by a foreign postmaster, reveal secrets of any kind to his 
eye; but I am sorry that its non-arrival should have produced an 
appearance of neglect. 

The letter which I received from you yesterday quite overwhelms 
me. I misinterpreted expressions in letters from the Fields which 
they no doubt supposed I should read by the light of other informa- 
tion; and it is now that I learn for the first time the death of your 

No calamity outside my own family, or perhaps in it, could have 
affected me more deeply. I feel for you and all those on whom 
this loss has fallen with all my heart, and shall myself always cherish 
with affectionate regret the memory of my friendship with one of 
the most beautiful characters I ever knew. 

I hardly like to mix any other subjects with this. But I do not 
think you need be so much cast down about the state and prospects 
of your own country, or look forward on that account, with any but 
pleasant feelings to your return. The miscarriage of the Reform 
Movement at Cincinnati was no doubt a great disaster. The aspect 
of this contest for the Presidency is anything but edifying or en- 
couraging ; and generally there is gloom on the political world. But 
the good and strong qualities of the people remain, and will in the 
end repair the mischief done by the roguery of the politicians. 

I was quite prepared in coming to America for a certain relaxa- 
tion of moral effort after the high tension of the War. Beyond this 
I do not perceive any decline except that which everywhere attends 
the slack tide between the ebb of the old motive power and the flow 
of the new. 

The conduct of the government about the Indirect Claims deeply 
disgusted me, as it did all the Englishmen who had taken the North- 
ern side in the war; and generally an Englishman cannot help being 
hurt by the Anti-British feeling which shows itself on all occasions 
and which is perfectly indiscriminate, or rather seems perversely to 
fix on those who have deserved it least, while the hypocritical ad- 
vances of the Tory aristocracy are a little too well received. But 
apart from this, my feeling after four years residence among your 
people is not one of disappointment at all. 

I am living here with the Canadian members of my family who 
give me a very pleasant and affectionate home. But I keep my 
professorship at Cornell, and go there to give my annual course. 

The death of my step-mother has broken the last link which con- 
nected me with England, and I do not suppose I shall ever cross the 


Atlantic again. I do not wish to undergo twice the wrench of leave- 
taking; and the tendency of things there, socially and politically, is 
what I do not wish to see, as I can do nothing to help the better 

The ascendency of wealth is dragging us all back to barbarism; 
and it is worse in England than in America, because in England 
the peerage consecrates wealth and gives it moral prestige. Strange 
as it may seem however the mischievous influence of our aristocracy 
is not unfelt among your people. 

The postponement of your return is a disappointment to me as 
well as to yourself: but we shall meet in the summer. 

My kindest regards and most affectionate sympathy to all your 
family. Ever yours sincerely, 

Goldwin Smith. 






Charles Gross was born in Troy, New York, February 10, 
1857, tne son °f Louis and Lottie (Wolf) Gross, and died in 
Cambridge, December 3, 1909. He was prepared for college 
at the Troy High School, where he led his class, and he main- 
tained the same rank at Williams College, from which he 
graduated in 1878. After a short period of teaching in Troy 
he went abroad for travel and study, first at the universities 
of Leipzig, Berlin, Paris, and Gottingen, later in the libraries 
and archives of England. He received the degree of Ph.D. 
from Gottingen in 1883, the honorary degrees of A.M. from 
Harvard in 1901 and LL.D. from Williams in 1904. In 1888 
he came to Harvard as instructor in history, and was ad- 
vanced to an assistant professorship in 1892 and in 1901 to 
a professorship of history — after 1908 with the title of Gurney 
professor of history and political science. He became a Member 
of the Massachusetts Historical Society in 1901 ; he also served 
as vice-president of the American Jewish Historical Society and 
was a corresponding member of the Royal Historical Society. 

Throughout his life Gross was a tireless seeker after knowl- 
edge. He had a remarkable power of intense and sustained 
work, and he never spared himself. His love of study for its 
own sake appeared in his college years, when his room-mate 
regularly left him at his desk at night and found him there 
in the morning. His interest in history likewise declared it- 
self at college, and after he had laid his foundations under 
such European masters as Pauli, Bresslau, and Monod, he 
devoted himself single-heartedly to the advancement of his- 
torical learning by research and teaching. As the field of his 


special interests he early selected the history of English in- 
stitutions in the Middle Ages, and like his friend Liebermann, 
also a pupil of Pauli, he brought the critical and systematic 
methods of continental scholarship to bear upon the vast and 
comparatively unexplored resources of the English records. 
He had the advantage of some years of work in the British 
Museum and Public Record Office before he took up academic 
duties in America, and he used every subsequent opportunity 
to return to these hunting-grounds, as well as to utilize the 
valuable collection of books which he gathered about himself 
in the Harvard library. He avoided no subject because of its 
difficulty or obscurity, and shrank from no labor which his 
investigations might demand, so that his works are models 
of thoroughness and accuracy; but he also brought to his 
studies qualities of insight, balance, and perfect lucidity of 
thought and statement which made him an acknowledged 
master in his profession. Among English historians he chiefly 
admired Maitland, most of all for the flashes of intuition and 
inspiration which he found wanting in himself; but if he 
lacked something of Maitland's brilliancy, he was not inferior 
in the sureness of his judgment or the solidity of his learning. 

The promise of noteworthy achievement was shown in 
Gross's first piece of historical work, his doctoral dissertation 
entitled Gilda Mercatoria, which riddled prevailing theories 
and placed the history of English gilds upon a new founda- 
tion of established fact. After prolonged research in local 
records this was enlarged into his Gild Merchant, published in 
1890, and still the standard authority upon the subject. A 
Bibliography of British Municipal History followed in 1897, 
preliminary to a comprehensive work on English municipal 
institutions, which never advanced beyond a series of articles 
on special aspects of the subject. Although not a lawyer and 
modestly disclaiming acquaintance with the law, Gross con- 
tributed two important volumes to the legal records published 
by the Selden Society — Select Cases from the Coroners 7 Rolls 
(1896) and Select Cases concerning the Law Merchant (1908) — 
both accompanied by historical introductions of much value. 
Significant brief contributions dealt with such topics as the 
Exchequer of the Jews, the jurisdiction of the Court of Ex- 
chequer, the law of intestacy, and the early history of the 

191 5-1 CHARLES GROSS. 1 63 

ballot. His best-known work is The Sources and Literature oj 
English History from the Earliest Times to about 1485, which 
appeared in 1900, and at once took rank as an indispensable 
instrument of investigation and an unsurpassed example of 
bibliographical workmanship. It became the model of the 
bibliography of the modern period undertaken cooperatively 
by the Royal Historical Society and the American Historical 
Association, which are attempting by the joint efforts of 
several scholars what Gross accomplished for his field unaided 
and alone. It was entirely characteristic of its author that he 
should have devoted to lightening the labors of others long 
years which he was free to give to his own more special 
studies; and only those who followed the progress of his work 
can appreciate the thorough preparation that went into its brief 
and meaty comments, and the months of drudgery spent in 
verification and in going through masses of material in which 
he had no personal interest. A labor which sometimes taxed 
the patience of the administration of the British Museum 
never exceeded his powers. The later months of his life were 
occupied with the preparation of a new edition, which has been 
completed and published (191 5), with the cooperation of his 
family, under the direction of a committee of his Harvard 

As a teacher Gross showed the same qualities of clearness, 
thoroughness, and sanity which appeared in his books. He 
lectured in a high voice with much emphatic repetition, and 
his manner and the subjects of his courses appealed rather to 
the advanced than to the elementary student, but he at- 
tracted undergraduates who looked forward to law as well as 
those who were to continue the study of history. While he 
also gave instruction in the history of France and of muni- 
cipal institutions in the Middle Ages, his favorite course 
was History 9, the constitutional history of England to 
the sixteenth century. Expounding with great care the 
" Select Charters" of Stubbs, he summed up with admirable 
judgment and precision the chief problems of early English 
institutions in a way that made a profound impression 
upon his students and held before them the highest ideals 
of historical scholarship. His methods of work were in- 
stilled even more completely into the small number of those 


whom he directed in special problems of investigation, which 
he selected with much skill and discernment and which 
generally led the young investigators to follow up their re- 
searches in England. To these he gave of his time and learn- 
ing with the greatest freedom, and his weekly conferences were 
occasions for searching yet kindly criticism. He can hardly 
be said to have founded a school, yet by their teaching and 
publications in European history his pupils have made per- 
haps the largest contribution of any single group of American 
scholars to that field, as may be seen from such names as Colby 
of McGill, Cross of Michigan, Gray of Bryn Mawr, Hemmeon 
of Nova Scotia, Lapsley of Trinity College, Cambridge, Lunt 
of Cornell, Mcllwain of Harvard, Morris of California, Per- 
kins of Ohio State University, Sullivan and Wolfson of New 
York, Trenholme of Missouri, and Wells, formerly of the 
University of Minnesota. His influence also extended beyond 
his classroom to men like Baldwin of Vassar, whose elaborate 
work on the king's council owed its inception to Gross. Though 
he never taught modern history, men like H. Nelson Gay and 
the late William Garrott Brown freely acknowledged their 
indebtedness to his instruction. His mind was concrete rather 
than philosophic, and he had little interest in the history of 
ideas or of civilization, limitations which showed themselves 
less in the content of his instruction than in his obvious lack 
of real interest in subjects, such as Gothic architecture, which 
he explained with clearness and skill. The enthusiasm which 
students caught from him came partly from his deep interest 
in the history of institutions, partly from his obvious candor 
and love of truth and thoroughness. One of those who studied 
longest with him — Lapsley — writes: 

From this distance one looks back on Gross's training as pri- 
marily moral. I think it would have horrified him to hear it put so, 
for he took good care that one acquired certain information and 
certain indispensable proficiencies. But all that could have been 
obtained in other quarters, and one remembers him chiefly as letting 
in upon one with increasing intensity and explicitness the pressure 
of certain moral necessities. He required of himself and of others 
truth in the inward parts and was unmindful of praise or reputation. 
What he cared for was that the work would be done, not who should 
have the credit of doing it. 

1915] CHARLES GROSS. 165 

Save for his constant attendance at college baseball games, 
Gross did not evince interest in the ordinary forms of under- 
graduate activity, but he had a deep and abiding affection for 
the university of his adoption. He took an active part in the 
administrative work of Harvard, serving on the administrative 
board of the College and on numerous committees, and acting 
for nine years as chairman of the department of history and 
government. He was active in the establishment of the 
American Historical Review and of the Harvard Historical 
Studies, assisting in the publication of the first fourteen vol- 
umes of the Harvard series and giving the last hours of his work- 
ing life to revising the proofs of the book of his pupil Morris on 
"The Frankpledge." In the Harvard Library, where so much 
of his time was spent, he is commemorated by a special fund 
for the purchase of books concerning English history. 

Outside of academic walls Gross's life was the patient, un- 
eventful life of the scholar. He cared little for general travel, 
and did not return to the continent till shortly before his 
death, when he visited Normandy and spent some weeks in 
Spain and Sicily. So far as possible he gave his vacations to 
work in London, where he also passed two sabbatical years. 
He regularly took lodgings in the neighborhood of the Public 
Record Office or the British Museum, and his long sojourns 
made him a familiar figure in Bloomsbury. To many of his 
friends he is associated most closely with the precincts of the 
Museum. W. J. Ashley, who had known him in the Got- 
tingen days and was for many years his colleague at Harvard, 
writes of their last meeting: "It is not of American sunshine, 
but of a gray day in London that I think when I recall that 
steady, quiet, unemotional, solitary, purposeful worker — 
ohne Hast, ohne Rast" Gross knew his London as do few 
Americans, and was delighted to show its historic spots to 
friends or pupils. He had few distractions beyond a dinner 
at some quiet restaurant, coffee at intervals in the day some- 
where near his work, and long walks about the streets after 
hours. His professional associations, too, were with the schol- 
ars of London and those who frequented its libraries and 
archives rather than with Oxford or Cambridge dons. Hubert 
Hall, who was probably closer to Gross than was anyone else 
in London, writes of their friendship: 


I do not remember exactly how this bond of sympathy was 
shaped or when it was perfected, but since the year 1892, or there- 
abouts, I have been accustomed to rely upon his knowledge of cer- 
tain aspects of medieval history very much as I would rely upon 
the Records themselves. Further than this, I have been accustomed 
to rely upon his judgment of historical values as I would rely upon 
that of my own banker or broker in mundane affairs. But it was 
not the play of human emotion nor the display of intellectual strength 
that gave to myself and, I am sure, to many others, this feeling of 
security in his historical cooperation. I think that it was rather 
the perception of strength reserved and the consciousness that it 
could be applied when necessary with the force and precision of 
hydraulic power! This impression accords with my experience of 
Gross as a correspondent and as a companion. His letters were for 
the most part extremely brief and laconic; but every sentence was 
weighed and every sentiment was measured. Equally character- 
istic was his conversation. He would sit unmoved, smoking sedately, 
while men talked at random on subjects that he alone, perhaps, 
knew how to deal with adequately. When appealed to, he would 
deliver himself, in a matter-of-fact style, of the true solution of the 
difficulty without the slightest show of impatience or dogmatism. 
So when you were alone with him, he would ask questions at short 
intervals in the manner of one who thinks aloud, and indeed at such 
times as he was not absorbed in work his mind was actively pursu- 
ing some train of learned thought. 

Naturally modest and retiring, Gross mixed little in the 
general society of his academic community, and the distressing 
and long-continued illness of his wife isolated him still further 
from the world. He was, however, no recluse, and he de- 
lighted in the companionship of colleagues and pupils, both 
in Cambridge and in London. His former students in par- 
ticular could always count on the helpfulness and friendship 
which were characteristic of a singularly unselfish and loyal 
nature. In every activity of his life he carried more than his 
share of work and responsibility, and under the most trying 
circumstances he neither held back nor complained. The only 
things that taxed his patience were superficiality, sham, and 
attempts at deception. A great scholar, he brought into every 
task the scholar's devotion and a certain large simplicity of 
purpose, and his historical work was merely one expression 
of a deep sincerity of life and character. 



THE stated meeting was held on Thursday, the 13th instant, 
at three o'clock, p. m. ; the first Vice-President, Mr. 
Rhodes, in the absence of the President, in the chair. 

The record of the last meeting was read and approved ; and 
the Librarian reported the list of donors to the Library since 
the last meeting. 

The Cabinet-Keeper reported the following accessions : 

A view of Bunker Hill Monument, 1916, from D. Berkeley 
Updike; a bird's-eye view of Sebastopol and its environs, from Mrs. 
Frederick C. Shattuck; a colored reproduction of "Washington 
inspecting the first money coined by the United States" after a 
painting by John Ward Dunsmore, 19 14, from Frank E. Stewart 
of Philadelphia; a half-tone of the John Hancock tablet in the 
State House, from Mr. Norcross; a photogravure of the tablet in 
Faneuil Hall, Boston, placed by the Massachusetts Society of Sons 
of the Revolution, from Dr. Green. 

Medals, of the Boston Fusileers, from Captain E. S. Anderson; 
the Quinquennial medal of the Harvard Class of 1898, from Bartlett 
H. Hayes; of the G. A. R. Lincoln Anniversary, and of General 
W. W. Blackmar, from John E. Gilman; of the Eastern Yacht 
Club, from Henry Taggard; of the New England Coal Dealers' 
Association, from the Association; of William Pynchon, issued by 
the Publicity Board of Springfield, from Edward H. Marsh, Presi- 
dent; of "Jean Leon Gerome, Peintre," by J. G. Chaplain, 1885, 
from Mr. Norcross; the Franklin School Medal, from Edward 
Percival Merritt; and the Fort Warren Canteen check, from Mr. 

The Corresponding Secretary reported the receipt of a letter 
from Julius H. Tuttle accepting his election as a Resident 
Member of the Society. 

The Editor reported the following gifts: 

From Francis J. Garrison, a number of Free Soil newspapers 
of interest and rarity. In the larger number of cases there is 


only a single issue, but as many of the journals had a short career 
and a limited circulation, the difficulty of obtaining examples or of 
determining their history is almost insuperable. The following is a 
list of the papers in this gift: 

Massachusetts. Boston: 

The Cradle of Liberty, March 23, 1839. Vol. 1. No. 1. Made up 

from the Liberator. Weekly. 
Free State Rally and Texan Chain-Breaker, November 15, 1845. 

Vol. 1. No. 1. Published by Jordan and Wiley. Weekly "or 

The Hangman, January 1, 1845. Vol. 1. No. 1. Charles Spear, 

editor and proprietor. Weekly "for thirteen weeks." 
The Latimer Journal, and North Star, November 11, 1842. Vol. 1. 

No. 1. Edited by an association of gentlemen, and issued tri- 
weekly at 15 State Street. Tri-weekly. 
The Liberty Bugle, September 21, 1848. Vol. 1. No. 6. C. C. 

Nichols, editor. Published "during the campaign" at the 

office of The Emancipator, 60^ Cornhill. 
The N on-Resistant, January, 1839. Vol. 1. No. 1. Published by 

the N. E. Non-Resistance Society. Semi-monthly. 
The Weekly Chronotype, October 21, 1847. Vol. 11. No. 22. 

White, Potter and Wright, publishers. The editor was Elizur 

Dedham : 

The Regulator, and Independent Liberal Advocate, September 18, 

1839. Vol.i. No. 4. "Edited by a clerk of the Writing," and 

printed and published at the office of H. Mann, High Street, 

Essex County : 

Voice around the Jail, Sunday, May 28, 1843. Vol. 1. No. 3. 
Newbury port: 

Beacon of Liberty, September 13, 1848. Vol. 1. No. 1, and also 

No. 4 (October 14). Published by Joseph Hunt. Weekly. 
Salem : 

The Free World, September 1, 1848. Vol. 1. No. 3. George F. 

Chever, editor. Weekly. 

Connecticut. Hartford : 

The Charter Oak, November 9, 1848. N. S. Vol. HI. No. 45. 
William H. Burleigh, editor. Weekly. 

New Hampshire. Concord: 

Granite Freeman, August 22, 1844. Vol. 1. No. 8. J. E. Hood, 
editor and proprietor. Weekly. 

19 1 6.] GIFTS TO THE SOCIETY. 1 69 

Rhode Island. Providence: 

Plain Speaker, December, 1841. Vol. 1. No. 7. 
New York. New York City : 

The Ballot Box, October 23, 1840. Vol. 1. No. 18. J. Leavitt and 

N. Southard, editors. Daily. 
The Colored American, April 3, 1841. N. S. Vol. n. No. 5. 

Charles B. Ray, publisher. Weekly. 
The Emancipator, May 16, 1839. Vol. iv. No. 3. Published by 
the American Anti-Slavery Society. New York. Joshua 
Leavitt, editor. Weekly. 
Cortland Village: 

The True American, February 11, 1846. Vol. n. No. 2. Pub- 
lished by Stedman and Goodwin. Weekly. 
Ohio. Columbus: 

The Ohio Standard, November 8, 1848. Vol. 1. No. 13. E. S. 
Hamlin and I. Garrard, editors. 
Pennsylvania. Borough of Indiana: 

Clarion of Freedom, February 2, 1848. Vol. rv. No. 40. Weekly. 
Philadelphia : 

Pennsylvania Freeman, September 3, 1846. N. S. Vol. 111. No. 36. 
Published by the Pennsylvania Anti-Slavery Society. Weekly. 

And a deposit by Mr. Sanborn of eighteen volumes of the 
papers of Theodore Parker, including his letter books, common- 
place and notebooks, letters sent to him and list of lectures. 

Ferris Greenslet, of Boston, was elected a Resident Member 
of the Society. 

The Vice-President announced the death of JohnC. Schwab, 
a Corresponding Member. 

Professor Merriman narrated some of his interesting per- 
sonal experiences in connection with the Great War while on 
his visits to the front and the trenches in France. He exhibited 
a number of posters collected by him at the time. 

Professor Sumner followed with a narration of his own ex- 
periences before the war in Germany, where he heard from 
the lips of members of the Prussian military aristocracy the 
theory on which the organization and progress of the State 
are based. He also gave a comprehensive sketch of the 
German university system. 

Remarks were made during the meeting by Mr. Thayer. 






Two biographies of Phillips Brooks have been published by 
members of this Society — a short account and appreciation of 
his ministry by Mr. Howe, which appeared as one of the vol- 
umes of the series entitled Beacon Biographies, and the Life, 
which was written, at the request of the family, by the late 
Dr. A. V. G. Allen, which fills two considerable volumes. 

Dr. Brooks was elected a Resident Member of the Society, 
March 13, 1879. He served as a member-at-large of the Coun- 
cil from April, 1881, until April, 1883. At the September meet- 
ing, 1881, he paid a tribute to the memory of Dean Stanley. 
In November, 1883, when the Society met in the Arlington 
Street Church to observe the four hundredth anniversary of the 
birth of Martin Luther, he opened the meeting with prayer. 
The record of attendance during the thirteen years of his mem- 
bership shows his presence at eleven meetings. 

Phillips Brooks was born in Boston, at No. 56 High Street, 
December 13, 1835. He came of substantial Puritan stock. 
On his mother's side the Phillips family went back to the Rev. 
George Phillips, who landed at Salem in 1630, coming with 
Winthrop and Saltonstall and serving as first pastor of the 
church at Watertown. In the sixth generation Samuel Phillips 
founded the Phillips Academy in Andover, and thus " became 
the pioneer of the system which has given to America its classi- 
cal schools." His son, John Phillips, founded the Andover 
Theological Seminary," the first institution of its kind in eccle- 


igi6.] PHILLIPS BROOKS. 171 

siastical history." On his father's side the Brooks family went 
back to Thomas Brooks, whose name appears in the records of 
Water town in 1636. They moved to Medford, whence John 
Brooks (175 2- 1825) marched in command of a company to 
Lexington, fought at Bunker Hill, became adjutant-general, and 
for seven years was governor of Massachusetts. One of the 
Brookses married a Boylston; another married a descendant of 
John Cotton. 

The parents of Phillips Brooks had belonged to the First 
Church of Boston, but his mother was troubled by the theologi- 
cal controversy which was dividing the Puritan congregations 
of the neighborhood, and the family sought refuge in the Epis- 
copal Church. First the mother was confirmed at St. Paul's, 
and then, seven years after, the father. When Phillips was six 
years old Dr. Vinton became the rector of the parish, and con- 
tinued thereafter for many years a strong and helpful influence 
in his life. 

After three years in the Adams Grammar School, he attended 
the Boston Latin School for five years, and entered Harvard in 
the class of 1855. Upon his graduation he returned to the Latin 
School as a teacher, thus entering upon the profession toward 
which his hopes and plans were at that time turned. In this 
position, however, he was not successful. He was not quite 
twenty years of age and was put in charge of a class of thirty- 
five turbulent lads only a few years his junior. They had 
already driven two masters out of the school. They accom- 
plished the same feat with Mr. Brooks. He could not manage 
them, and was accordingly requested to resign. In the perplex- 
ity of his defeat he consulted the president of Harvard College, 
Dr. Walker, and was advised by him to study for the ministry. 
He had not shown any active interest in religion during his 
college course. He had listened to Dr. Vinton's sermons so 
"crunched down with his head between his shoulders, hardly 
visible," that "one could not tell whether or not he were pay- 
ing attention to the preacher." It was plain, however that he 
had a reflective mind, an excellent gift of expression and a 
serious spirit. He so far followed Dr. Walker's advice as to 
go to the Theological Seminary at Alexandria^ Virginia, but 
his mind was not made up and he entered the seminary with- 
out having even been confirmed. The experiment succeeded 


beyond his expectations. His new studies interested him, new 
enthusiasms awoke in him, new convictions and aspirations 
filled his soul. 

Phillips Brooks began his ministry in 1859, in the Church 
of the Advent, Philadelphia. The parish was neither large nor 
important, but the prudent vestry were mindful of the perils 
involved in taking a rector who had had no ministerial experi- 
ence and they engaged Mr. Brooks for a period of three months 
on approval. One Sunday evening, as he was going home from 
church with one of his vestrymen, he said to him that perhaps 
he had better leave at once and not wait until the three months 
were out. All that his companion could say in reply was, ' ' Well, 
as long as you have begun, you had better stay out the time for 
which you were hired." But the congregation gradually in- 
creased, the fame of the young preacher extended even outside 
of the city, the temporary engagement was made a lasting one 
and calls began to be heard from several places tempting him 
away. In 1861 he accepted the repeated and importunate in- 
vitation of Holy Trinity Church, Philadelphia. There he re- 
mained until he came, in 1869, to Trinity Church, Boston. 

The ministry of Phillips Brooks in Philadelphia had been 
successful rather than remarkable. Crowds had attended upon 
his preaching and he had been asked to speak on all sorts of 
public occasions, but he had not appeared conspicuously dif- 
ferent from his contemporaries. His manner in the pulpit 
was that which he maintained throughout his lif e — swift as a 
charging regiment. His sermons were rather more intellectual 
and literary than those which he preached in Boston. They 
troubled some hearers, to whom the preacher seemed to be 
making his way toward theological assurance through many 
difficulties. There were devout, old-fashioned persons who felt 
that the sermons did not quite reach the heart of the matter. 
Such a situation is always interesting, but it is not unusual. It 
has been a part of the experience of many excellent preachers. 
There was little as yet to indicate the great place which Mr. 
Brooks was to take in the history of religion in America: with 
one exception. This was his prayer in 1865 on the occasion of 
the commemoration by Harvard University of the students 
who had fallen in the Civil War. Not a word of this prayer re- 
mains, but there is abundant testimony as to the profound 

1916.] PHILLIPS BROOKS. 1 73 

impression which it made on those who heard it. Even beyond 
Lowell's Commemoration Ode, it was the supreme utterance 
of the day. 

Trinity Church, Boston, stood then on Summer Street, but 
plans for removal were already under consideration when the 
great fire of 1872 cleared the way for immediate action. While 
the new church in Copley Square was in the process of construc- 
tion, the services were held in the hall of the Institute of Tech- 
nology, on Boy Is ton Street. The unusual conditions inter- 
rupted the conservative exclusiveness of the parish and brought 
into the congregation great numbers of outside persons. The 
unecclesiastical appearance of the meeting-place seemed to be 
the fitting symbol of a ministry which was addressed not to any 
one communion of Christians but to the community at large. 
The preacher was accounted to belong not to the Episcopal 
Church only but to the city. This situation was continued and 
even emphasized by the notable architecture of the new church, 
which was immediately recognized as one of the monuments of 
Boston to be visited by every sightseer. The preacher and 
the church together stood out conspicuously in the public life 
of the place. 

Mr. Brooks's sermons were deepened and enriched by his 
increasing experience. In Philadelphia he had begun to identify 
himself with various reforms, and, in particular, had taken a 
radical position regarding the admission of the freed slaves to 
full political rights. In Boston he devoted himself wholly to 
the work of preaching. He was on the side of all good causes, 
but did not serve on their committees. He declined to give 
literary lectures, or to write literary papers for the magazines. 
He took no place of active leadership in the ecclesiastical con- 
troversies of the day. His convictions regarding all matters 
were made plain; there was no doubt as to where he stood. 
But his contribution to progress was inspirational, moral and 
spiritual. Men and women went out from his preaching to 
apply in their own way the principles which they had learned 
from him. 

In 1877 ne g ave at the Yale Divinity School the Lyman 
Beecher lectures on " Preaching." In 1879, at the Philadelphia 
Divinity School, he gave a course of Bohlen lectures on "The 
Influence of Jesus." A local newspaper graphically described 


his appearance and manner of speaking. He was "a tall, 
broad-shouldered man," the reporter said, "with a perfectly 
smooth, open face, strong lines about the mouth, bright, ex- 
pressive eyes and dark hair. . . . There was no pause for prepa- 
ration after he got into the pulpit. He placed the manu- 
script before him and began the lecture. The delivery of the 
man was remarkable. He announced the title and introduction 
in words that came so rapidly that it required the utmost 
concentrated attention to keep up with him. He spoke for 
about an hour. During all that time his tremendous energy 
of delivery kept up at the same rapid pace, reminding one of a 
torrent rushing over rocks. The words seemed not to flow out 
to the audience, but to shoot out. The ground he got over in an 
hour was equal to three ordinary lectures. And when he closed, 
the attention of the audience was as rapt as ever. Occasionally 
there would be a stumbling over a word. Then his head would 
jerk to this side and that impatiently, as though the word must 
come despite all impediments. He kept his eyes on the paper 
almost continuously. Probably four times, certainly not more 
than half a dozen, he gave a glance toward the audience. He 
seemed to lose himself entirely in his subject. His eyes were 
bent on the manuscript, his whole expression, his features, the 
twitching of his facial muscles, showed the tremendous con- 
centration of energy put into the effort. " 

In 1879 Mr. Brooks went to England and visited Dean 
Stanley, preaching in Westminster Abbey and at Windsor 
before the Queen. In 1881 he was called to Harvard to be 
professor of Christian Morals and preacher to the University. 
He had then been for twelve years a member of the Board of 
Overseers. The position, however, demanded his entire time 
and necessitated the giving up of his parochial ministry, and 
after serious consideration he declined it. Thereupon the 
University constituted a body of chaplains, of which Mr. Brooks 
continued to be one until his election to the episcopate. 

He took a sabbatical year in 1882, travelling as far as India. 
Harvard had given him the degree of Doctor of Divinity in 
1877; Oxford gave him the same degree in 1885. In 1889 he 
visited Japan. In 189 1 he was elected Bishop of Massachusetts. 
According to the canons of the Episcopal Church, the election 
of a bishop in any diocese must be confirmed by a majority 

1 91 6.] PHILLIPS BROOKS. 1 75 

of the bishops and of the standing committees of all the other 
dioceses. This confirmation had been refused some years before 
to Dr. James DeKoven on account of his "high church " views, 
and an attempt was made by some of the brethren to have it 
refused to Dr. Brooks on account of his "broad church" views. 
But the church at large had now learned some lessons from 
the mistakes of the past, and it was impossible to revive the old 
narrownesses to any serious extent. Dr. Brooks was given the 
approval of the general church, in spite of his liberal theology 
and his slight esteem for the apostolic succession, and was con- 
secrated bishop on October 14, 1891. 

Bishop Brooks administered the diocese of Massachusetts 
for a little longer than a year. In January, 1893, ne was taken 
ill with diphtheritic sore throat, and died in a few days, on the 
19th. Not only Trinity Church, but all Copley Square was 
filled with the multitude who came to his funeral. On the way 
to the cemetery his coffin was carried through the Harvard 
yard on the shoulders of students. 

Ten volumes of the sermons of Phillips Brooks have been 
published, but he lives chiefly in the life and influence of in- 
numerable persons to whom he gave a new faith and a new 
enthusiasm for righteousness and truth. 



THE stated meeting was held on Thursday, the 9th instant, 
at three o'clock, p. m. ; the first Vice-President, Mr. 
Rhodes, in the absence of the President, in the chair. 

The record of the last meeting was read and approved; and 
the Librarian reported the list of donors to the Library since 
the last meeting. 
The Cabinet-Keeper reported the following gifts: 

Miniature of Charles Sumner (artist unknown), with a lock of 
hair in the back, from Miss Alba Davis; photogravure of William 
H. Forbes, from Dr. Green; plaster medallion of Lincoln, by the 
Boston Sculpture Company, issued in connection with "The Birth 
of a Nation"; also a store card of Ward's Tip-Top Bread, from 
H. A. Gray; Boston Zionist Conventions badge, from J. De Haas; 
souvenir of the New York Lucky Penny, and Waltham Trust 
Company's token, from J. H. Storer; eight badges of the Benevo- 
lent Protective Order of Elks, from Charles A. Kelley; medal 
of the S. K. Club, Cambridge, from Robert Baldwin; half-tone 
portraits of Major Thomas Savage, of Boston, and of several of his 
descendants, from Lawrence Park; and a photograph of the younger 
Buckingham, taken by Whipple, of Boston, from Miss Sarah B. 
Hager; an engraving of George Thompson by C. Turner, after a 
painting by George Evans, framed; a painting of the ship Abolition 
and the wreck Colonization, by Clement Drew, 1839; engraving of 
a "Scene on the Coast of Africa" in the slave trade, by C. E. Wag- 
staff after a painting by A. F. Beard, published May 10, 1844; 
photograph of Charles Sumner by F. W. Black & Co., April 1, 1874; 
plaster medallion of Maria Weston Chapman, by Ch. Le Boury, 
1855; and a bust of William Lloyd Garrison, by S. V. Clevenger, 
1 84 1, deposited by Francis J. Garrison, and other representatives 
of William Lloyd Garrison. 

The Corresponding Secretary reported the receipt of a letter 
from Ferris Greenslet accepting his election as a Resident 
Member of the Society. 

The Editor reported the gift from Charles E. Goodspeed, of 
the original certificate of copyright, issued August 1, 1825, to 

I 9 i6.] GIFTS TO THE SOCIETY. 1 77 

James Savage, covering the first edition of Winthrop's History 
of New England from 1630 to 1649. 

Also the deposit by the surviving children and representa- 
tives of William Lloyd Garrison (1805-79) °f a number of 
files of antislavery and abolition journals, being practically a 
complete record of the journalistic career of the elder Garrison, 
as follows : * 

Essex Com ant, published by Isaac Knapp, Newburyport, Mass., 
June 9, 1825, to March 16, 1826, 41 nos., bound with 

The Free Press, published by W. L. Garrison, Newburyport, 
March 22, 1826, to September 14, 1826, 26 nos., with twelve 
additional nos. (27-38), published by John H. Harris. 

This volume is the only complete file of The Free Press known 
to me, and is of special interest and value for its being the medium 
of publication of the early poems of John G. Whittier. See num- 
ber for June 8, in which the first poem appeared. His second poem, 
"The Duty," appeared two weeks later, and every subsequent 
issue while W. L. G. published it contained a poem by W. All told 
there are fourteen of them, for the poem on "The Emerald Isle" in 
No. 24 is undoubtedly his, his initial being accidentally omitted. 

The Journal of the Times, edited by W. L. Garrison at Bennington, 
Vermont, October 3, 1828-March 27, 1829, 25 nos., bound with 

American Manufacturer, edited by J. G. Whittier, Nos. 13-45, 
December 25, 1828-August 6, 1829. Printed at Boston. 
(J. G. W. began with No. 14, January 1.) 

The Genius of Universal Emancipation (Vol. iv. New Series) 
published by Benjamin Lundy and William Lloyd Garrison, 
Baltimore, Md., Sept. 2, 1829-March 5, 1830. 26 nos. 

National Philanthropist, Vol. in, No. 6, June 6, 1828, edited by 
W. L. Garrison. Printed at Boston. (A bound file of the 
Philanthropist is in the Boston Athenaeum.) 

The Liberator, 35 vols., 1 831-1865. Edited and published by 
W. L. Garrison, Boston. A complete and perfect file. See Mob 
placard in front of volume for 1835. 

The N on-Resistant, edited by Edmund Quincy, Maria W. Chap- 
man, and Wm. Lloyd Garrison, and published by the N. E. 
Non-Resistance Society, Boston. January, 1839- June, 1842. 
24 nos. a year, semi-monthly. 8^ nos. 

Declaration of the National Anti-Slavery Convention held in Phila- 
delphia on the 4th, jth, 6th, of December, 1833. Lithograph, with 

1 This description was prepared by Mr. Francis J. Garrison, to accompany the 


fac-simile signatures. Framed in the wood of Pennsylvania 
Hall, Philadelphia, destroyed by mob in May, 1838. This 
copy belonged to John G. Whittier and hung in his house at 
Amesbury for fifty years. After his death it was presented by 
his niece, Mrs. Pickard, to F. J. Garrison. (The table on which 
the Declaration was signed is in F. J. G.'s possession, and the 
inkstand used is in the Boston Public Library.) 

Professor Emerton read a paper describing his early impres- 
sions of Germany based on a three years' residence at German 
universities as a young man. 

Dr. Warren read a " Chapter in the History of Harvard 
Medical School," being the story of the campaign in 1901 and 
the following years to obtain funds for the erection of the group 
of buildings now occupied by the school. 

The Editor presented for publication the following 

Letters to John Brazer Davis, 18 19-183 i. 

He was the eldest son of Ezra and Mary (Brazer) Davis, and 
was born October 16, 1798. He fitted for college at Exeter 
Academy, took his degree at Harvard in 181 5, standing second 
in his class. John G. Palfrey and Jared Sparks were in the 
same class. He taught a select school on Chestnut Street, 
Salem, was a tutor in Harvard College, 18 19-1820; studied 
law and was admitted an attorney at Boston, April, 182 1; for 
five years was a representative from Boston in the legislature; 
and aid to Governor Levi Lincoln. For two years he was editor 
of the Boston Chronicle and Patriot, and after his retirement: 
devoted himself to law. In 1826 he married Laura M. Gay, 
daughter of Rufus Gay, of Gardiner, Maine, and grand- 
daughter of General Henry Dearborn. He died December 17, 
1832. The Boston Atlas said at the time of his death: "Mr. 
Davis was in good health but a few days ago, and addressed his 
fellow-citizens in Faneuil Hall on the evening preceding our 
annual State election. He was a young man of acknowledged 
talent and promise, and acted a conspicuous part in bringing 
about the union of parties upon which our State politics have 
for the last few years rested. Having lately relinquished his 
connection with politics, he had devoted his attention mainly 
to the legal profession, in which he bade fair to rise to dis- 
tinction. ,, 

1916.] LETTERS TO JOHN BRAZER DAVIS, 1819-1831. 1 79 

Except where otherwise stated, these letters were presented 
to the Society by his niece, Susan Conrad. 

From John Pickering. 1 

Salem, Dec'r 4, 1819. 

Dear Sir, — I received your letter with the Gr[eek] Dialogue. I 
have not read it yet; the chirography is such that I cannot read it 
with any comfort, especially as it is stripped of all accents, etc. I 
have set Mary to copying it, in Ciclitira's manner, by way of exer- 
cise for her and to make it more legible. I cannot help again ex- 
pressing a wish, that the students might be taught to write a proper 
Greek hand, instead of painting the letters just as the Chinese do 
English letters. I hope you will introduce it while you remain at 
Cambridge. 2 I am with much regard yours, 

Jno. Pickering. 

[Endorsed,] Mr. Jno. B. Davis, Harvard University. By J. C. 
Lee. 3 

From Lynde Walter, etc 

Boston, Feb'y 5, 182 1. 

Sir, — We have the honor to tender to you the sincere thanks 
of the friends of a Bankrupt System, for the very able and valuable 
Pamphlet addressed to the Senate and Representatives in Congress 
assembled, 4 and to assure you the Society do most highly value your 
exertions in their cause. We take leave at same time to tender you 
our warmest wishes for your personal welfare. 

Lynde Walter 5 
H. W. Rogers. 
John MacKay. 

1 John Pickering (17 7 7-1846), lawyer, of Salem. He devoted much attention 
to languages, and in 1806 declined an appointment to the Hancock professorship 
of Hebrew and other oriental languages in Harvard College. His biography was 
written by his daughter, Mary Orne Pickering — the "Mary" of this letter. 

2 Davis was a tutor in the College, 1819-20. 

3 John Clarke Lee (1804-77), at this time in his first year in the College, 
graduating in 1823. He studied law in the office of John Pickering, was of the 
commercial firm of Merrick and Lee from 1826 to 1830, and in 1848, with George 
Higginson established the banking house of Lee, Higginson and Co. The Picker- 
ing Genealogy, 499. 

4 A Letter to the Senate and House of Representatives of the United States upon 
the Expediency of an Uniform System of Bankruptcy, Boston, 182 1. 

5 (1767-1844), a merchant of Boston and son of Rev. William Walter (1737- 
1800) and Lydia, daughter of Benjamin Lynde. 


From George Eustis. 1 

New Orleans, Nov. 23, 1821. 

My dear Sir, — I received your letter by Mr. Sherman and re- 
turn you my thanks for it, and hope that you will never let any of 
your friends come this way without my knowing them. I cannot 
but feel a warm interest in all our countrymen who migrate to this 
country and shall always deem myself fortunate, if I can, in any 
manner, aid them in their undertaking. For, my dear Sir, a man's 
changing his country — and oftentimes with it, his friends, his 
associations, his habits — is a circumstance of no ordinary moment 
in the history of his life. Matrimony and migration are two grand 
crises, which either better a man's situation and happiness, or de- 
stroy him: there is no medium in their effect. 

Mr. Sherman left the city some days ago for Red River, (the 
principal settlement on which is Alexandria) 2 with the intention of 
establishing himself there, with the expectation of being able to 
study the law, while he should defray his expenses by teaching a 
school. I thought that the best place for him was the city — know- 
ing that the rough, (savage, if you will,) habits of the country set- 
tlements, would not accord with his feelings, and therefore ad- 
vised him to apply for a vacancy in the Orleans College, (a poor 
affair, to be sure, but with a salary of $1200), thinking that he could 
at the same time pursue his studies of law with more advantage. 
He accordingly made the application and will, if he succeeds in it, 
of which I have no doubt, return to the city. 

I receive the Boston Patriot 3 regularly and never read its editorial 
remarks without pleasure, because they are full of liberality and 
Americanism, always in good taste and well conceived. I however 
differ with my friend on the subject of the conduct of Jackson. He 
is a man of such influence, of such fame, that he belongs only to his 
country, its character is in some degree identified with his, and, I 
confess, I can only look upon the transactions of the General towards 
Colo. Callava, 4 with regret. I cannot but regret the passion, the 
violence, the want of reflection and dignity there exhibited. Gen- 

1 (1 796-1858). Soon after graduating (H. C. 181 5) he went abroad as private 
secretary to his uncle, William Eustis, then United States minister at The Hague. 
He settled in New Orleans, La., in 1821, held many public offices and was Chief 
Justice of the Supreme Court of Louisiana. He married, in 1825, Clarisse Allain. 
N. E. Hist. Gen. Reg., xxxn. 217. 

2 Alexandria, the capital of Rapides Parish, La., where the University of 
Louisiana was until 1869. Ephraim Sherman (1801-1822) graduated at Harvard 
College, 1819, and died at Natchitoches, La. 

3 See Brigham's "Bibliography of American Newspapers" in Am. Ant. Soc. 
Proceedings, xxv. 268. 

4 Bassett, Life of Andrew Jackson, 1. 298. 

1916.] LETTERS TO JOHN BRAZER DAVIS, 1819-1831. l8l 

eral Jackson has rendered such important services to this country — 
to Louisiana, which, by his energy and talents alone, was saved — 
his fame is identified with ours, and I felt humiliated when I heard, 
from eye-witnesses, a story of the affair of Callava. The General is 
brave almost beyond example, an admirable judge of the force of 
circumstances, has every quality which can inspire confidence, many 
that inspire admiration; but he is too passionate, too self-willed 
ever to be entrusted with a power over the liberties of his fellow 
citizens, except when a sacrifice of that liberty may be necessary to 
the safety of the State. 

The morning after I parted with you at our social meeting at 
Concert hall, I set out upon my journey, and continued it by land 
until I arrived in this goodly city — where I arrived in thirty-four 
days from Washington City, having rode seven hundred miles on 
horse-back. Part of the route was through the Choctaw nation, 
and I had some little amusement on my journey in observing the 
manners of the Indians, and a great deal of annoyance from the 
bad fare and worse grace, with which these children of nature en- 
tertained me. On my arrival I found all our courts open and busi- 
ness commencing with more than ordinary vigor. The absence of 
the yellow fever has given an extraordinary impulse to every thing. 
Strangers are flocking to the city. Mr. Pepin the equestrian and 
no less than three companies of comedians propose to endeavor to 
minister to our pleasure this winter, so that there is every prospect 
of passing a merry one. The French are getting up a grand funeral 
service in memory of Napoleon, for which there is a large sum of 
money subscribed, and it cannot fail to be — superb, 

I wish you, my dear Sir, to remember me to my good friends Mr. 
and Mrs. Waters and Mr. and Mrs. Gibbes and Miss Boit. Very 
sincerely your friend, 

G. Eustis. 

From Daniel Parker. 1 

Washington, Nov'r 25th, 1821. 

Dear Sir, — I have received your letter of the 12th instant. It 
would afford me pleasure to render any service to the republican 
party in Massachusetts, and I should be particularly happy to pro- 
mote your personal views. It is however doubtful how far I could 
do so, even if I could find time to write as frequently as the cor- 
respondent of an editor should from this city. 

The signs of the times are so variant that they cannot be trusted. 

1 (1872-46), at this time paymaster-general, from which office he was su- 
perseded in 1822. Adams, Memoirs, v. 527; VI. 3, 6. 


Our city editors with all their vigilance are often deceived and some- 
times make awkward apologies. Mr. Jefferson, to whom you refer 
very justly as the champion of policy for a government and country 
like ours, as far as I can understand his measures, always kept in 
the rear of public opinion, although he seemed to direct the storm. 
He was only quicker than others in discovering its course and shaped 
his measures accordingly. I think this tact will account for the 
elevation of most politicians. The advantage of our public men is, 
not that they have the most talents, or the best education, for 
when you come in contact with them they fall to about your own 
level. I say fall, for we modest men of the east are too much in 
the habit of looking up to office men. I have been so long from 
Massachusetts that I hardly know what suits the taste of the 

Please to consider me a subscriber for the Chronicle and Patriot 
and have it directed to me. I have so seldom read a Boston paper 
of late, that I do not know how you manage your political affairs. 
If I should find that I can contribute any facts, or hints, worth your 
consideration I will do so; always with this proviso, that you are 
not to expect any thing in form. I should have observed, in con- 
nection, that the same tact that made Mr. Jefferson so successful a 
statesman is the great requisite for an editor. My letters if they 
ever serve you at all will only do so as a vane to show how the wind 
blows. My brother is acquainted with Mr. Bailey 1 a clerk in the 
Department of State who I think has some leisure and would be a 
useful correspondent. I have given my brother this hint. I was 
formerly acquainted with your father and his family as well as with 
Mr. Brazer. Do me the favor to present them my respects and 
believe me Very respectfully your friend and mo. ob. Servt., 

D. Parker. 

From Joseph Story. 

Salem, Dec'r n, 1821. 

Dear Sir, — I had the pleasure of receiving your Pamphlet on 
the subject of a Bankrupt Law last evening. I have perused it with 
great satisfaction and think it does honour to your talents and judg- 
ment and feelings. The sentiments are such as I cordially concur 
in, having been for many years an unequivocal advocate for a 
Bankrupt System from the best judgment, which I could form from 

1 John Bailey (d. 1833), tutor in Brown University (1808-14), member of 
the Massachusetts House of Representatives (18 15-16), clerk in the United 
States Department of State (1817-23) and a member of Congress (1824-31). 
Huntoon, History of Canton, 521. 

iqi6.] LETTERS TO JOHN BRAZER DAVIS, 1819-1831. 1 83 

my own experience and that of other persons. The arguments 
against it form a strange medley of the most opposite views, and 
seem to me founded sometimes in mistake, sometimes in ignorance, 
and not unfrequently in a cold and speculating selfishness. The 
time is arrived when the experiment ought to be fairly tried, for it 
has not had a fair trial in our country. If the system could be in 
operation seven years I am persuaded some of the opposers would 
become friends, and some of the doubters would become admirers. 
I wish you as much success as you could desire in this appeal to the 
sober understanding of our countrymen; and beg you to believe me 
with my best thanks for your acceptable present, and with great 
respect and esteem Your obliged friend, 

Joseph Story. 

From Daniel Parker. 

Washington, May nth, 1822. 

Dear Sir, — I write you now with a pretty certain prospect that 
I shall have the pleasure of seeing you in the course of the summer. 
The recent differences of opinion between the President and the 
Senate relative to the reduction of the army must be familiar to 
you. The exceptions taken by the Senate I had expected and stated 
them before the reduction was made a year since. No exception 
however was taken in my case, and the Senate had no personal ob- 
jections to me. On the other hand they complimented me, indi- 
vidually, but the result leaves me a citizen. This happens too at a 
time when there are no vacant places which I wish to fill. The 
National Intelligencer of yesterday mentioned the appointment of 
Colonel Towson 1 negatively to my prejudice. I met Mr. Gales and 
called his attention to it and he has this morning, as you will see by 
the enclosed, made very honorable amends. 

You will naturally suppose I should like to have you give it a 
place in the Patriot, as I do not wish to be obliged to tell my friends 
in Massachusetts myself that I have only got permission to visit 
my native State after an absence of more than eleven years in the 
public service by being out of office. I confess I should like to fix 
myself in Massachusetts if I could live, but that is hardly possible 
I fear. I have not sufficient means. I could not probably expect 
political favor to be made a member of Congress immediately, and 
the present disposition for retrenchment will induce them to reduce 
their own pay so that none but rich men can serve in that capacity; 

1 Nathan Towson (1 784-1854), appointed paymaster-general in succession to 


besides although Mr. Fuller ! says he means to decline, I suspect my 
brother at Charlestown is more popular in my native district than 
I could be before the next election, even if he had no political ambi- 
tion himself, and by his letters to me he seems very modest in that 
way. Yours truly, 

D. Parker. 

P.S. I have not the paper of this morning. The article referred 
to I see is copied into the Washington Gazette of this evening. I 
presume you must have them on your files. 

From Levi Lincoln. 2 

Worcester, Nov. 22, 1823. 

Dear Sir, — I received with great pleasure your interesting 
Letter of the 17 th inst. and should have permitted in myself no 
delay in its acknowledgment, but from a great variety of engage- 
ments professional and social which have occupied every moment 
of the intervening time. The subject you mention has heretofore 
pressed upon my mind as deserving the most serious reflection of 
every friend to a Republican Administration of the Government of 
the Commonwealth. It is due to the sentiments of a large majority 
of the people, that they should have at least a participation of the 
influence of office in all the Departments of Government, and next 
to the importance of an impartial and independent administration 
of Justice, is a conviction in the public mind, that it is so enjoyed. 
I cannot be persuaded, that the present opportunity to create con- 
fidence and a, feeling of security in the character of the Judiciary will 
be neglected — full well I know, that the present members of the 
Bench look to an appointment from the ranks of their political op- 
ponents, and profess at least a satisfaction in the expectation, in 
preference to a diminution of the number of Judges. The expense of 
salaries is not a subject of general complaint, so far as my acquaint- 
ance and observation extend. The people have too clear percep- 
tions of their own interests to barter the security of their personal 
rights, for the pecuniary consideration of the price at which only 
they can be peaceably maintained, and I have not the least hesi- 
tancy in declaring my entire conviction, that if the vacancy had 
been filled, previous to the reference of the subject to a Committee 
of the Legislature, not a question would have been made as to the 
propriety of the measure. It has been proper and respectful, since 

1 Timothy Fuller (1778-1835). 

2 Levi Lincoln (1782-1868). 

1916.] LETTERS TO JOHN BRAZER DAVIS, 1819-1831. 185 

that time, for the Executive to suspend an appointment, as other- 
wise, the Legislature would virtually be precluded from deciding the 
question which is to be agitated before them. The proposition to 
reduce the number of Judges is not new. It was a topic for much 
discussion in private circles many years since, and I believe by the 
most intelligent of our profession was very decidedly disapproved. 
Among our friends, who were most dissatisfied with the Incum- 
bents of the Bench, it was contemplated to reorganize the Courts, 
and for the avowed and desirable purpose of accomplishing an op- 
portunity, which by some of them, now it is presented in the most 
acceptable manner, seems hardly to be worth improving. Per- 
haps it should not be doubted, that the duties of the Bench might be 
performed by four Judges; but I have long been satisfied that it is 
both most unwise in itself, and unjust to the character of the Court, 
to require that excess of bodily labor which exhausts the strength, 
and disqualifies the man from that progression in knowledge and 
those attainments, especially in Juridical science, which some leisure 
for study can alone accomplish. There is also more danger of error, 
and of corruption, if that is ever to be apprehended, in a few, than 
in a greater number. And besides in the event of sickness, or oc- 
casional disability in an individual, under the present and probably 
any convenient arrangement of the terms of the Court, business will 
either be improperly hurried or greatly delayed. Let it be dis- 
tinctly impressed upon the public mind, that with the Supreme 
Judiciary in the last resort, rests the security of property, of life, of 
personal and political liberty, for with the Court is the tremendous 
power of declaring even the Laws inoperative, as unconstitutional, 
and I doubt whether any Republican would hesitate in subscribing 
to the expediency of providing for the responsibility of at least five 
men in the discharge of the duties of this high station, and of adding 
to the security for fidelity in office, the safeguard of political integ- 
rity, and the jealous vigilance of a diversity of political party. It 
is however a subject of much gratification that the decision of the 
important questions of a reduction of the number of Judges, and of 
appointments to office, is with the wisdom and discretion of those 
who will faithfully execute the public will. 

For your very kind and partial sentiments in reference to myself 
I feel particularly obliged. While I shall ever estimate as the high- 
est honor expressions of the confidence of my Fellow Citizens, I 
hope never to obtrude personal pretensions as claims to office. 
Public stations are the gift of the People and should be bestowed 
upon Individuals only for the public good. I have never permitted 
myself to solicit them, nor do I practice the humility of always de- 
clining them. I cannot however, in justice to your candor, hesitate 


to say, that the office to which you refer must to any man regard- 
ful of professional reputation be acceptable, unless very peculiar 
independent and extraneous circumstances render it otherwise, and 
I do not profess to be an exception to the application of the general 

Permit me in offering my congratulations upon the recovery of 
your health, to add an expression of my high gratification in wit- 
nessing in your feelings and exertions a lively interest in measures 
for the public good. With sentiments of great regard Your Obd. 
friend and Servant, 

Levi Lincoln. 

From Joseph Story. 

Salem, Jan'y 3, 1824. 

Dear Sir, — I beg to return you my sincere thanks for your 
letter of yesterday. I have no claim upon you for such kindness, 
and it has indeed most sensibly affected me. I am conscious, that 
I have no title to the distinction, which you and other friends are 
so indulgent as to allow me. But I trust, that your praise will at 
least have this good effect, that it will stimulate me to more earnest 
endeavours to deserve it. 

After more than twenty years of public and political life I was 
not indeed prepared for the rude attack made upon me by the late 
Editor of the Patriot. I was from 1806 to 181 2 a member of the 
State Legislature during a period of the most stormy political con- 
flicts. No young man can have any just notion of the sacrifices, 
that republicans were obliged to make during this period. Those, 
whose faith was then tried, may smile at the imputation of desert- 
ing the republican principles, which they then maintained at every 
hazard. Nor, may I be permitted to say, nor were my duties dur- 
ing the War, with the preceding accumulation of the Causes arising 
from Embargo and Non-Intercourse Laws, and the War itself, 
without most momentous and arduous responsibility. I came into 
political life a republican, and I am not conscious of ever having 
deserted republican principles. I have exercised on all occasions 
an independent opinion; and if I have sometimes differed from my 
friends, it was an honest, open difference, which if it required can- 
dour, proffered it in return. 

Let me add, that I was one of the earliest subscribers to the 
Boston Patriot at its first appearance, and I have steadily supported 
it ever since. On many occasions I have silently promoted its inter- 
ests; on no occasion have I designedly injured them. There was the 
less reason for the attack on me, because from another quarter I 

tqi6.] LETTERS TO JOHN BRAZER DAVIS, 1819-1831. 187 

had been accused of the offence of being a friend to Mr. Adams. 
I thought it my duty, as soon as I read the attack, to discontinue 
the paper. It was the only course reconcilable with a decent self- 
respect. But I bear no resentment for it. I forgive the writer most 
cheerfully, though he meant to wound me as deeply as a man of 
sensibility could be wounded. 

I congratulate the public on your resuming the Editorship of the 
Patriot. I am sure, that your services will be truly valuable, and 
in the spirit of a scholar and a gentleman. Allow me to say, that 
I feel a real interest in your professional welfare also; I respect 
your talents and acquirements, and if you steadily pursue the Law 
there can be no doubt, that you will attain its highest honours. I 
shall rejoice, if I live to witness you in the foremost rank. 

I will detain you no longer than to request you to have the Patriot 
again sent to me, and to state to the Printers that I impute nothing 
to them. Believe me very sincerely and respectfully, Dear Sir, 
Your obliged friend, 

Joseph Story. 

From George Blake. 

Washington, Feb'y 10, 1824. 

My dear Sir, — Owing to a very unexpected detention of 
nearly a fortnight, at New York, and to the intolerable state of the 
roads, at the time of my coming on from thence, I did not reach here 
before the 29th January; and by reason of some mistake at the Post 
Office, at which I took care to render myself, very shortly, after my 
arrival, I was deprived of the pleasure of receiving, until Thursday 
last, your very kind, and obliging letter of 15th Ulto. In the way 
however, either of amusement, or edification, in regard to political, 
or any other sort of topic, you may depend upon it, that, so far as 
depended upon me, you can have lost nothing by reason of the 
adverse circumstances before alluded to. The truth is that, after 
such a rough, and tumbling journey, as a traveller, at this season 
of the year, must, necessarily, be exposed to, in his way from the 
Atlantic to the Potowmack, it is indispensably requisite that he 
should have a few days of calm repose on Capitol Hill, before 
he can venture to talk or even to think, consistently, upon any 
of the grave and conflicting matters, which, during a Session of 
Congress, are constantly in agitation there. 

Having, however, had leisure to compose myself, from the fatigues 
of journeying, to rub the dust from my eyes, and to become, in fact, 
incorporated, in some measure, with the strange society which one 
is always sure to meet here, at this season, I begin to think I shall soon 


feel myself enabled to think, and to talk on matters of State, and 
other matters and things in general, as freely and largely as others 
are accustomed to do, in this latitude. 

At present however, although the Supreme Court has, for a week 
or two, been in session, and had before it, several prominent and 
interesting questions, the prevailing topic, with us, as well there, as 
every where else seems to be the Presidential question. On this 
subject, it was my intention, at least for a short season, after my ar- 
rival here, to see and not be seen, to hear and not be heard; and 
the time has not yet quite come when it would have been expedient 
and proper for me to adopt a different course of policy. 1 

In general terms, however, I feel myself justified in saying to you, 
that the New England preference, is in my opinion, every day, 
gaining ground in the South and the West. In the course of a few 
days, after a most rash and abortive Caucus shall have ended, I 
hope it may be in my power to give you some particulars on this 
head, of an interesting kind. 

I thank you, my Dear Sir, very cordially, for the kind solicitude 
you have manifested, in my behalf, on a certain subject. Judging, 
however from what I find, in the recent Gazettes from Boston, on 
that head, I am led to believe that nothing which a man of honor, 
or one possessing any feeling of pride and independence would be 
willing to accept will be left open in that quarter. 

Be this, however, as it may, and whatever or wherever may be my 
destinies or situation in life, I am, and shall ever continue to be, 
with perfect truth and sincerity, your friend and servant, In ex- 
treme haste, 

G. Blake. 

P.S. I send you, in a Pamphlet form, one of Mr. Webster's 
speeches, on the Greek question, as it has been revised and cor- 
rected. It is thought here, a good thing, and must, I think, be 
everywhere, so considered. 

From John Hills. 

Lima, nth March, 1825. 

My dear Sir, — Nothing of importance has occurred, since my 
last letter addressed to you from this City. The Congress con- 
tinue their Session in this City, and the Army have removed from 
the City, to the immediate vicinity of the Castles of Callao, the 
blockade of which is vigorously kept up. General Bolivar has his 

1 See the letter of Elijah H. Mills, January 22, 1824, in 1 Proceedings, xix. 

1916.] LETTERS TO JOHN BRAZER DAVIS, 1819-1831. 189 

Head Quarters at a Hacienda, (Country Seat,) at a little distance 
from the Army. He will probably leave here in a few days for 
Alto Peru. The blockade of Callao will be kept up, and a partial 
siege, or rather bombardment, will shortly be commenced with 
some heavy battering Cannon, which have recently been received 
from Valparaiso. 

It is rumoured here, that France has declared War against the 
Independent Republics of South America. The French have sev- 
eral Men of War on this Station, and many at Rio de Janeiro, and 
the other ports in the South Atlantic Ocean. I am assured from 
the most unquestionable authority, that, if this rumour should 
prove true, and the French Men of War take an active part in the 
present contest, the English naval Commander on this Station will 
immediately interfere on the part of England. Such are his orders 
from his Government. The popular prejudice against France is 
very great. Bolivar will not have a French officer under his com- 
mand, while the North Americans and English are always hailed as 
friends. There are many American and English Officers in the 
Patriot Forces. 

I enclose you a correct list of the American vessels in Port, to- 
gether with a summary of the state of the market. 

I offer an apology to Mr. Hill, for the liberty I have taken, on 
this, and other occasions, in enclosing letters to you, under an 
envelope addressed to him. 

I have perused Boston Papers to the 13th September last, but 
from them, cannot form a probable conjecture of the result of the 
Presidential election. I hope however that John Quincy Adams 
has been elected, and such is the general sentiment among the 
Citizens of the United States in this City. I am, my dear Sir, very 
respectfully and truly, your very obed't Serv't, 

John Hills. 

From Tobias Watkins. 1 

Washington, 23d June, 1825. 

Dear Sir, — Before this reaches you, you will probably have 
seen that your letter of the 18th was duly received, and that I felt 
so much gratification in its perusal as not to be able to withhold 
from the publick a participation in it. The greater part of your 
letter — which was the more valuable as being the only one received 
in the city on the subject — is in the National Journal of this 

1 (1 780-1855), a physician of Baltimore, Md., and at this time fourth auditor, 
Treasury Department. He had been the editor of The Portico (1816-20) and 
a liberal contributor to the newspapers. 


I know what it is to postpone a correspondent from day to day, 
in the hope of having more leisure, or more inclination, to write to 
him, until the delay becomes habitual, and it requires as much effort 
to shake it off as it would any other bad habit. Having a fellow- 
feeling with you on this subject, I can readily find excuses for your 
long silence, more particularly since it has been so agreeably broken. 
I regret extremely that the President could not be with you on the 
grand and solemn occasion just alluded to. 1 But besides the fact 
that all his Cabinet, except one, are away, and that he is thus left 
with an unusual burden of publick duties, he had still another and 
perhaps a stronger reason for not going: he is extremely averse 
to encounter the publick dinners, and publick gaze, and publick 
civilities, with which he has been threatened every where on the 
road. He could not have accepted one invitation without sub- 
mitting to the fatigue of all, and this would have delayed his return 
to the City a longer time that he could well spare from the neces- 
sary engagements of his high station. His enemies, too, would 
have taken advantage of the affectionate greetings of his friends 
to fix upon him the degradation of seeking popularity. His ab- 
horrence of every thing that looks like making himself a publick 
spectacle will, I am afraid, deter him even from making his annual 
visit to his father this summer. He has not yet, however, made 
up his mind about it, and I shall not cease to urge him all in my 
power to go. His father cannot be expected, in the course of nature, 
to survive much longer, and he ought not to be deprived of the 
gratification of seeing his son in the character of President of the 
United States. 

Troup and his Legislative Committee have capt the climax of 
folly. 2 Their conduct, however ridiculous and absurd as it is, may 
lead to some good. A Governor of any State hereafter will hesi- 
tate a long time, even under just causes, to make complaint against 
the general government, lest he may be ranked in the same class 
with this mad bully of Georgia. The Government have thus far 
pursued a wise and prudent course; but how far they will be able 
to avert the ills so likely to spring from the conduct of the Georgia 
Legislature, it is impossible to foresee. The Legislature, as we 
hear this morning, has adjourned, after passing a resolution au- 
thorizing the Governor, notwithstanding the intimation given to 
him of the President's wish, to make the Surveys agreeably to the 

1 Laying of the cornerstone of Bunker Hill Monument, June 17, Lafayette 
being present. See Boston Patriot, June 20, 1825. 

2 George Mcintosh Troup (1 780-1856). The controversy concerned the ex- 
tinguishment of Indian titles to lands in Georgia. See Phillips, Georgia and 
States Rights, 55. 

1916.] LETTERS TO JOHN BRAZER DAVIS, 1819-1831. 191 

stipulations of the Treaty; and one hundred Surveyors have been 
appointed for the purpose. I have no idea that the Indians will 
submit to the Survey: they will probably put to death the first 
man that attempts it; this will be the war cry to Troup, who will 
call out his militia, and appeal to the general government to pro- 
tect the citizens of his State from murder! It is difficult to imagine 
what could have induced the late President to submit to the Senate, 
a Treaty which was avowed, in a letter from the Agent which ac- 
companied it, not to be the act of the nation} He perhaps did not 
like to take upon himself the responsibility either of sending it back 
to the negotiators, or of approving it; and therefore sent it to the 
Senate, under the impression that they would refuse to ratify it 
after reading the letter of the Agent which was sent with it. The 
Senate, on the contrary, regarding the fact of its being sent to them 
at all as evidence that it was approved by the President, ratified it 
without looking sufficiently at the circumstances under which it 
was made. When its ratification came down from the Senate, Mr. 
Monroe had retired, and Mr. Adams was called upon to fulfil the 
obligation tacitly made by his predecessor, the whole obloquy of 
which he has had to bear, though as innocent of all error in the 
business as you or I. It is a very unfortunate affair, and I heartily 
wish we were well through it. I am, Dear Sir, very truly and re- 
spectfully yours, etc., 

T. Watkins. 

From John Bailey. 

Washington, 14 Dec, 1825. 

Dear Sir, — Your favor of the [blank] is rec'd and I thank you 
for the friendly sentiments expressed in it. You have seen before 
this that Colonel Williams, late Senator from Tennessee, 2 is app'd 
to Guatemala. I have tried several times to have a conversation 
with the President respecting Panama, but have in every instance 
failed. My distance from his residence, and the constant influx of 
persons to his "presence" (the presence of one being no obstacle to 
another) renders intercourse very uncertain. 

I have got a volume of Gales and Seaton's Register of Debates 
which I will find some way of getting to you by the mail in a day 
or two. You will please to pay their Agent for it, Mr. Rowe. 

1 By a message, dated February 28, 1825. Messages and^ Papers of the Presi- 
dents, 11. 287. 

2 John Williams (1778-1837). He was charge" d'affaires to the Central Ameri- 
can states from December 29, 1825, to December i, 1826. 


16 December. 

Having delayed the above, I have the pleasure of your favor of 
the nth enclosing the Boston Patriot of the ioth for which I thank 
you. The article contained in it is a possible and I will say con- 
clusive argument in favor of our claims on Holland, and is expressed 
in language worthy of the argument. I shall (probably to-morrow) 
hand it to President Adams. 

You will have seen some resolutions offered by me on Tuesday, 
relative to internal improvements. Their objects are: i. concili- 
ation, which every motive urges; 2. the avoiding of — I think — 
very great evils attending the sole exercise of authority by Con- 
gress. I stated on presenting them that the principal (last) reso- 
lution was drawn up to be presented at the last session, but the 
period appearing not the most suitable they had been deferred, and 
that the assignment of specific powers to Congress was not intended 
to intimate the opinion that the powers did not already exist, but 
only to draw more distinctly the line between the powers given and 
those withheld. They sketch what I think ought to be the constitu- 
tion on these subjects, nor have they been presented without 
much reflection. 

The nom'n of Mr. King has been suspended for some days in the 
Senate. 1 Whether it has been acted on to-day I have not heard. 
If the "opposition" choose to break ground on this point, they must 
be sadly in want of it. 

The committees of the Senate (appointed by the Vice President) 
show something of the feelings of Mr. Calhoun. Was there ever so 
ill-sorted a Committee as that of Foreign Relations? Yours truly, 

J. Bailey. 

John Mills to Levi Lincoln. 2 

SOUTHWICK, NOV. 21, 1826. 

Dear Sir, — I think it probable that this letter will excite your 
surprise, and I have some fears also, that it will be deemed officious, 
if not impertinent. But I have presumed, that from the mere cir- 
cumstance of the rank and office you hold, it is more difficult for 
you to obtain satisfactory information upon many subjects, than it 
would be, were you a private citizen. If so, it will not, I hope, be 
thought unkind in me to communicate freely my own sentiments, 
and what I believe to be the views and feelings of others. I am not, 
however, going into an examination of your past administration 

1 Of Rufus King, to be minister to Great Britain. 

2 From the Lincoln Papers, f. 49. See 2 Proceedings, xv. 233. 

19 1 6.] LETTERS TO JOHN BRAZER DAVIS, 1819-1831. 1 93 

or to make any suggestions in regard to public measures hereafter 
to be adopted or pursued. The people generally, and as universally 
so as could at any time be expected or desired, are well satisfied with 
the past, and have no unfavourable apprehensions as to the future. 
It is well known to you, that a United States Senator is to be 
elected next winter by the Legislature of this State. This was a 
subject of considerable conversation in private circles, among the 
members at the last Session. It seemed to be conceded, that Mr. 
Mills l had, since the election of Mr. Adams, been an able supporter 
of the Administration. But the republican members, so far as I 
became acquainted with their views, were, with few exceptions, 
disposed to continue their support to the administration, but to do 
it through the agency of a republican Senator. And if this were 
done, all were of opinion, that Governor L[incoln] was the man. 
But the difficulty is, that the same person cannot be in two places 
at the same time. It was this dilemma, and the uncertainty whether 
the transfer would be agreeable to you, that induced a postpone- 
ment of the choice to the winter Session. There may have been 
other reasons, but I know that these were the principal ones that 
induced a majority of the Senate to favor a postponement. I have 
presumed, as I before remarked, that it will be agreeable to you to 
ascertain the wishes of your republican friends in relation to this 
subject. My information may not be as accurate or as exten- 
sive as that of many other members of the Legislature, but I have 
no doubt, that all things considered, your friends would generally 
prefer that you should be retained in your present office, in pref- 
erence to being elected to the Senate. There are many reasons 
why they would prefer this. In the first place, we are well satisfied 
with the present State Administration, and do not wish, therefore, 
to incur the hazard of a change. In the next place, it will be desir- 
able, that your successor should be of the same political school. 
But we cannot calculate upon this with much confidence, for al- 
though there are many gentlemen of the party of respectable talents, 
yet there is no one whose standing is such as clearly to designate 
him for the office. In saying this, I except Judge Morton, 2 who, I 
suppose, would not be prevailed upon to leave the office he now holds. 
It will, therefore, be desirable to us to retain you in your present 
office, and I hope that this will be in accordance with your own 
feelings in relation to this subject. If, however, there are reasons 
of a personal nature, that induce you to desire that your political 
friends should place you in a different situation, I have no doubt 

1 Elijah Hunt Mills (1776-1829). See 1 Proceedings, xrx. 12. 

2 Marcus Morton (1 784-1864). 


that this can and will be done. We have not forgotten, that at our 
earnest solicitation, you relinquished an honorable, permanent, and 
lucrative office, for one of an uncertain tenure, and it will not be 
fair for us to insist that you should be confined to that station, so 
long as it suits our convenience without regard to yours. 

In the House of Representatives, Mr. Mills will, I presume, 
obtain two thirds of the votes against any other candidate than 
you. And there are, I suspect, ten or a dozen members (ultra 
administration men) who will give their votes to Mr. M. against 
any candidate, but I know there are several federal members who 
will support you in preference to Mr. M. 

It cannot be expected that you will publicly decline or consent to 
be a candidate for the office, but it will be extremely desirable that 
this should be clearly understood, soon after the commencement of 
the Session, in order that in one event, such measures may be taken 
as to render the result sure, and in the other that there should not 
be' a partial support which may render it uncertain whether you 
was or was not a candidate. 

I am not sensible that there is any thing indecorous in what I 
have written, but if you should deem it so, I beg you to be assured 
that none but the most friendly considerations have induced me 
to write. Certain it is, that I should not willingly forfeit the favor- 
able regard, which I hope I in some measure at least, retain in your 
estimation. Accept, Sir, my most respectful and cordial salutations. 

John Mills. 1 

From John Bailey. 

Washington, 3 Jan'y, 1827. 

Dear Sir, — In relation to our Senator I had formed the opinion 
some months ago, that if Governor Lpncoln] was desirous of the 
app't and Mr. Mills indifferent about it, Governor L[incoln] would 
be the best appointment; but if the reverse, that we probably 
could not do better than re-elect Mr. Mills. The recent state of 
Mr. Mills' health changed the question; but now he thinks him- 
self convalescent, and is evidently desirous of re-election; but if re- 
elected would, it is understood, resign, if an unfavorable change in 
his health should take place. 2 Under these circumstances, Gov- 
ernor Ljjncoln] being it is said unwilling to run against Mr. M[ills], 

1 John Mills, of Springfield, was chosen to be Senator by the Senate in Decem- 
ber of this year, but the House voted in favor of Elijah H. Mills. Green, Spring- 
field, 466. 

2 1 Proceedings, xix. 51. 

1916.] LETTERS TO JOHN BRAZER DAVIS, 1819-1831. 195 

I think Mr. M[ills]'s re-election seems to me the best course that 
can be pursued. 

The Vice President's 1 affair I think will not aid him, though un- 
doubtedly Mix's letter was seized by him as a probable means of 
enlisting public sympathy, and regaining the ground he has of late 
lost in the public favor. 2 With the highest respect, Dear Sir, your 
obed't Serv't, 

John Bailey. 

John Brazer Davis to John Bailey. 3 

Boston, 9th Jan'y, 1827. 

Dear Sir, — Your very acceptable letter of Jan'y 3d I received 
yesterday and should have replied thereto by return of mail, had 
I not been suffering from a sprained arm, which confined me to my 
house for two days, and from which I still suffer some inconvenience. 

The subject of our Senator in Congress is a very interesting subject 
to us, but as I think, is now reduced to more certainty than when I 
last wrote to you. The Governor is out of the question, as he does 
not wish the office and his friends do not feel as if they could spare 
him. The Governor will not be a candidate. 

The present incumbent will have a powerful rival in Hon. John 
Mills, President of our Senate, a highly worthy man, a decided 
friend of the Administration and a uniform Republican; in addi- 
tion to all which he is a western man. 

My own mind is made up, to vote for the present incumbent and 
to have him returned, if feasible, as I am now inclined to believe it 
will be In my opinion the friends of the administration are bound 
to support Mr. Mills. Those who support the Administration ought 
to be supported in return. 

I thank you for the documents you sent me and shall always be 
much obliged to you for such attentions. Your letters too are ever 
very acceptable, and the intimations as well as information they 
contain I hope will always be properly and highly appreciated. 
With sentiments of great respect and regard I am, Dear Sir, Your 
most obed't Serv't, 

J. Brazer Davis. 

1 John Caldwell Calhoun. 

2 Probably Elijah Mix, whose contracts for constructing fortifications when 
Calhoun was at the head of the War Department had been under investigation. 
The attack on Calhoun failed. See Niks Register, xxxi. 394; American Historical 
Association Report, 1899, 239. 

3 From the Washburn Collection, 11.1.21. f. 45. 


Levi Lincoln to H. U. Dwight. 1 

Boston, Feb'y 8, 1827. 

My dear Sir, — I have postponed the acknowledgment of the 
receipt of your kind letter of the 10th ult. until this late period, in 
the hitherto almost daily expectation that I might have opportunity 
to reply to it, in a manner which I was well assured would be as 
satisfactory to you, as it would be to myself. I now see no prospect 
of an immediate determination of the question, to which your com- 
munication refers. I cannot longer deny myself the gratification 
of expressing my thanks for the favorable opinion, which you and 
others whom I hold in the highest regard are pleased to manifest 
towards me. If I found myself at liberty to yield to any induce- 
ments, it certainly would be done, in respectful submission to their 
suggestions. There however have been and still continue to present 
themselves, imperative considerations both in reference to a compe- 
tition with others, and also of a personal character, which con- 
strain me to wish and to hope, that I may be excused from this 
Canvass. However desirable it may become at another time, and 
under different circumstances to be in association with the Na- 
tional Councils, I am now bound by every motive of interest and 
regard to consistency of conduct and character unreservedly to 
decline the honor. 

Be assured, my Dear Sir, that I shall at all times hear from you 
with great interest and pleasure. To those gentlemen who have 
done me the honor to unite in sentiment with you in the favorable 
regard of myself, I am under the most grateful obligation and I 
pray that this expression of my sense of it, with the tender of 
my respectful recollections and consideration may be acceptable to 
them and to you. Your obliged Friend and Servant, 

L. Lincoln. 

From John Bailey. 

Washington, 17 Feb'y, 1827. 

Dear Sir, — I thank you cordially for your favor of the 7th inst. 
giving the result of the last ballot in the House Representatives as 
well as for two previous favors. To-day we have the news for which 
I am probably indebted to yourself that the Senate have on their 
part [named] Governor Lincoln. 2 This, though not my first wish, has 

1 From the Lincoln Papers, f . 50. 

2 Two ballots in the Senate on the 13th gave the following result: 

1st ballot 2d ballot 

Governor Lincoln 17 26 

William C. Jarvis 12 6 

1916.] LETTERS TO JOHN BRAZER DAVIS, 1819-1831. 197 

been uniformly my second; and if no chance exists of re-electing Mr. 
Mills, I hope the House will concur. If this should be, Governor 
Lincoln I hope will not decline, and therefore a new candidate for 
Governor will be sought. My first opinion has been in favor of 
Mr. Crowninshield, to whom we owe much; but I am informed that 
Mr. Silsbee has been thought of in case of a vacancy. He is an 
excellent man, and cannot be objected to. But all this is hypotheti- 
cal, as the House may not concur. 

We have to-day an excellent article of news — Governor Tyler's 
letter. This runs point blank against the main ground of present 
opposition — the corrupt bargain of 1825. Hence the Enquirer 
growls, and well it may. 

The Calhoun Report leaves him much worse than he was before 
the moving of the business. Very respectfully, Dear Sir, Your 
most obt. Servt., 

John Bailey. 

From John Bailey. 

Washington, 27 Feb. 1827. 
Evening, 9 o'cl[oc]k. 

Dear Sir, — We are debating the Colonial Trade bill with the 
hope of getting the question to-night, but this is uncertain. Much 
of our business will be unfinished, but what parts we cannot now 
tell. The bill laying duties on wool and woolens imported will I 
fear be one. 

You will have noticed the election of Gales and Seaton as Print- 
ers to this House for the next Congress. There were many who 
would have preferred Force; l but there were some friends of the 
Administration who were fully fixed for G. and S., and as a plurality 
elects, according [to] the express resolution, it was feared either that 
the opposition might get a plurality if the friends of the administra- 
tion were divided; or at least that the opposition would join with 
those friends who would adhere to G. and S. and elect them against 
the main body of the friends of administration, which would have 
been an event to be deprecated. Force therefore was not brought 
forward, though he has the full confidence of nearly all our friends. 

E. H. Mills 7 4 

J. Mills 2 2 

W. P. Parker 1 1 

On the next day the Speaker of the House of Representatives laid before the 
House a letter from Lincoln declining to be a candidate, and by a vote of 115 to 
85 the House postponed the subject indefinitely. 

1 Peter Force (1 790-1 J 


The re-election of Mr. A[dams] I deem scarcely admitting a 
doubt. We are now with good hopes of Pennsylvania and Virginia; 
but wait further developments. With great respect, Dear Sir, 
your ob't serv't 

John Bailey. 

David Lee Child to Levi Lincoln. 1 

Boston, May 24th, 1827. 

Dear Sir, — At the moment of leaving you on Tuesday, I ex- 
pressed a hope that you would reconsider the resolution, which I 
fear you had too far formed, of declining an election to the Senate 
of the U. S. Since I returned I have seen and heard many new 
reasons for wishing and entreating that you would leave the subject 
open until your arrival here next week. There is no doubt in the 
minds of all enlightened friends of the Administration that either 
you or Mr. Webster must go. It has long been known that no man 
in Massachusetts would be more acceptable to our friends at Wash- 
ington than yourself; and we all considered it a cruel necessity 
which was imposed upon us last winter of supporting Mr.. Mills, 
and thereby encountering a formidable mass, a very Juggernaut of 
prejudice. In fact we almost cut ourselves off for a time from the 
body of the Democratic Republicans, and gave to Henshaw, Dun- 
lap, Simpson, and Thayer, associated with Jarvis, Keyes, Austin, 
and Fisk, almost the entire power and communion of the party. 
Situated however as the Administration was, we thought it our 
duty to the country and the Commonwealth to face the storm — 
to keep out John Mills until we could elect a better man, and to 
keep out W. C. J. 2 until we — could find a worse one. Altho there 
were strong reasons for your then declining and among others (as 
I thot) this, that a profligate press had charged you with a base and 
dishonorable intrigue to supplant E. H. Mills; and altho scarcely 
a man has to my knowledge complained of the decision to which 
you came on that occasion; still it is apparent, that if you could 
with propriety have consented to receive our votes, it would have 

1 From the Lincoln Papers, f. 61. Child (1794-1874), journalist and abolition- 
ist. In the papers of John Bailey (Washburn Collection 11. 1. 20, 22b) is the fol- 
lowing note of recommendation from Henry Dearborn, dated November 21, 182 1 : 
"I take the liberty of introducing to your notice my highly esteemed friend Mr. 
David Lee Chylde, who intends spending the winter in Washington. You will 
find him a gentleman of fine talents, well improved by education and reading, 
and perfectly correct in his moral and political principles, habits and deportment, 
without duplicity or any disposition for intrigue." 

2 William C. Jarvis. See Smith, History of Pittsfield, 1800-76, 403. 

19 1 6.] LETTERS TO JOHN BRAZER DAVIS, 1819-1831. 1 99 

saved the Commonwealth and would have some of your friends 
from a great deal of odium and abuse which they have been obliged 
to suffer from the ignorant, the sordid, and the lowminded of the 
Democratic party. However I feel no regret at the small part which 
I for one was called to perform on that occasion: I glory in it. 

Allow me now to say that the opinion here and at Washington 
unquestionably is that your talents [are] eminently senatorial, and 
your name will be of more service to the country in the Senate of 
the U. S. than in the chair of Chief Magistrate in Massachusetts. 

There is one difficulty, which exists — not in the nature of things 
but in the prejudice and selfish views of old party men. It caused 
us infinite embarrassment last winter. I refer to the apprehen- 
sions which undoubtedly exist in the minds [of] these men that the 
enjoyment and distribution of offices in the Commonwealth will 
go out of their possession when you go out of your present office; 
and they therefore insist upon your continuing in it with the perti- 
nacity with which a drowning man grasps a remaining plank. With 
this class of politicians the honor and the prosperity of the Republic, 
the support of an excellent, and abused administration, are all 
postponed to their little schemes of office and influence in this state : 
with them republicanism is a scramble for office and they are able 
to convince some honest and disinterested persons that if Mr. Jef- 
ferson's test were adopted, if citizens were advanced according to 
their honesty, capacity and fidelity to the Constitution, all that 
Republicans have been fighting for " these five and twenty years" 
would be abandoned. I pass by the libel which this doctrine con- 
tains upon the Republicanism of our fathers. I confess I have no 
great sympathy with this class of politicians nor have I any great 
fear of them. They must be few and weak; if they were not weak 
they would foresee that many years of an exclusive policy cannot 
elapse without a reaction which will leave them less than they 
might obtain and keep by a liberal, just and truly republican policy: 
truly republican because it would be agreeable to that maxim, 
which lies at the foundation of republicanism, and without which 
I for one prefer a monarchy, viz. detur digniori. In my own view, 
(which I take the liberty to express frankly) very little is due to 
this class; so far as their wishes are consulted just so far will the 
deepest laid schemes of the Hens haws and Simpsons be promoted. 
They have it in charge to array the democracy of this State against 
the Administration and as essential to this end to keep up and 
revive party rancour and party exclusion; and they would be 
happy to retain our Chief Magistrate where he is for no other 
reason than that they think it necessary for this great purpose. 
Mr. Austin did more mischief to the Administration and its friends 


last winter than forty thousand open enemies could have done, 
because professing ardent friendship for Mr. Adams he co-operated 
in effecting the purposes of the Jackson party. I should be glad to 
say more, tho I have already (it may be) said too much in more 
senses than one; but I shall lose the mail if I delay longer to deposit 
this letter. Will you have the goodness to inform me when you will 
be in the city? Very respectfully, 

D. L. Child. 

Joseph E. Sprague to Levi Lincoln. 1 

Salem, May 10, 1827. 

My dear Sir, — I have the honor to congratulate you on the 
result of our State election and I take no little pride for the course 
of my own town and county. In Salem the only opposition to you 
was the miserable opposition to Mr. Adams and although our 
county was as deeply interested as Middlesex your majority was 
increased from last year considerably. 

But my present object is one of [a] character which you will 
excuse when you know it results from the best wishes to yourself and 
Mr. Adams personally. It is a subject on which we have heretofore 
conversed freely but which I again feel bound to consult you about. 

It is necessary for the friends of the Administration to come im- 
mediately to a decision in relation to the Candidate for the Senate. 
Mr. Silsbee has a letter from Mr. Mills in which he says that he 
shall decline as soon as the elections of representatives are over. 
The President and Mr. Clay are both very desirous that you should 
go into the Senate. The President as I understand, understood you 
to state the last summer, to him, that in the event of Mr. Mills 
withdrawing himself, your objections would not be insuperable. 

Will you therefore permit your friends to comply with the wishes 
of the President and support you as the representative of the State 
in the Senate of the Union? Your answer will be considered so far 
as you wish it entirely confidential and our course will be directed 
entirely conformable to your wishes. Believe me with great re- 
spect Your faithful friend, 

Joseph E. Sprague. 

Edward Everett to Levi Lincoln. 2 

Boston, ii May, 1827. 

Permit me, Dear Sir, to state, by way of confirmation to what is 
remarked in the enclosed, that it is within my personal knowledge 

1 From the Lincoln Papers, f. 57. 2 From the Lincoln Papers, f. 58. 

1916.] LETTERS TO JOHN BRAZER DAVIS, 1819-1831. 201 

that the President entertains very decidedly the opinion that the 
Public Service would be highly promoted by your election to the 
Senate of the U. S. I hope you will not deem it presumptuous, 
if I add, that such also is the conviction of, Dear Sir, Your most 
faithful Servant, and sincere friend. 

Edward Everett. 

Daniel Webster to Levi Lincoln. 1 

Private and confidential. 

Boston, May 22, 1827. 

My dear Sir, — It was my misfortune not to see you, on your 
late visit to this place, owing, partly, to engagements, in and out 
of town, and partly to a misapprehension as to the time of your 
leaving the City. Disappointed, thus, in the expectation and hope 
of a personal interview, I now adopt this mode of making a few 
suggestions to you, on a subject of some interest; — I mean the 
approaching election of a Senator in Congress. The present pos- 
ture of things, in relation to that matter, is so fully known to both 
of us, that I need not trouble you with much preliminary obser- 
vation. I take it for granted, that Mr. E. H. Mills will be no longer 
a candidate. The question, then, will be, who shall succeed him? 
I need not say to you, that you yourself, will doubtless be a promi- 
nent object of consideration, in relation to the vacant place; and 
the purpose of this communication requires me to acknowledge, 
that I deem it possible, also, that my name should be mentioned, 
more or less generally, as one who may be thought of, among others 
for the same situation. In anticipation of this state of things, and 
more especially since I have been awakened by its probably near 
approach, I have not only given it a proper share of my own re- 
flection, but have also consulted with others, in relation to it, in 
whose judgment and friendship I have confidence. The result is, 
that there are many strong personal reasons, and as friends think, 
(and as I think too,) some public reasons, why I should decline the 
offer of a seat in the Senate, if it should be made to me. Without 
entering at present, into a detail of these reasons, I will say that 
the latter class of them grow out of the public station, which I at 
present fill, and out of the necessity of encreasing, rather than of 
diminishing, in both branches of the National Legislature, the 
strength which may be reckoned on as friendly to the present Ad- 
ministration. I hope you will understand what I would now wish 
to communicate, without imputing to me the vanity of supposing 

1 From the Lincoln Papers, f. 59. 


that my services to the Administration, or to the Country, in the 
H. of R. are of any particular importance; or, on the other hand, 
that it is matter of option with me, to change that place for another. 
I think quite differently, in both respects. Nevertheless, how- 
ever inconsiderable the first of these things may be, and however 
contingent, or improbable, the last, they are such as make it con- 
venient, at the present crisis, to acj: upon the one, as if it were of 
some consideration, and to regard the other, as if it might probably, 
or possibly happen. To come, therefore, at once, to the main point, 
I beg to say, that I see no way in which the public good can be so 
well promoted, as by your consenting to go into the Senate. This 
is my own clear and decided opinion; it is the opinion, equally 
clear and decided, of intelligent and patriotic friends here; and I am 
now able to add, that it is also the decided opinion of all those friends, 
elsewhere, whose judgment, in such matters, we should naturally 
regard. I believe I may say, without violating confidence, that it is 
the wish, entertained with some earnestness, of our friends at Wash- 
ington, that you should consent to be Mr. Mills'' successor. You will 
probably, as soon as you arrive here next week, learn the same 
thing, thro another channel. I need hardly add, after what I have 
said, that such also is my own wish. We are in a crisis; and it requires 
all the aid which can be mustered. If I have not misunderstood you, 
on some former occasions, you do not desire a long continuance in 
your present situation. If so, this occasion is apt and convenient 
to resign it. If you should find your employment at Washington 
not agreeable, that also may be relinquished, without particular 
inconvenience, in a short time. The "crisis" will terminate, one 
way or the other, about the end of the next Session, or by the be- 
ginning of that next ensuing. You will then be able to regard your 
private wishes, probably, or to prolong your official services there. 

A professional engagement will take me to New York, at the end 
of this week. I hope to return by the 5th or 6th of June, but pos- 
sibly may be detained longer. If you wish to address me soon, 
please enclose your letter to Nathan Appleton, Esq., of this City, 
and he will forward it to me, wherever I may be. Mr. Appleton is 
one of our (few) Representatives. He is intelligent, and perfectly 
well disposed; and I shall leave him possessed of my confidence, 
and with power to communicate my views on this subject to other 
friends, as convenience may require. He is well known to you, I 
suppose; if not, you may safely regard him as a man of high honor, 
and fit to be treated with confidence. I am, Dear Sir, very truly 

Dan'l Webster. 

1916.] letters to john brazer davis, 1819-1831. 203 

Gerry Fairbanks to Levi Lincoln. 1 


Boston, 24 May, 1827. 

Dear Sir, — Mr. Webster has this morning called on me and 
entered into a pretty free conversation in regard to the election of 
a Senator to fill the place of Mr.Mills who it is understood declines 
a re-election. He informs me that he has written to you on the 
subject. You will pardon me for expressing to you freely what I 
apprehend is the undivided sentiments of the friends of the adminis- 
tration in this place. There are probably but two gentlemen who 
would be intirely satisfactory to the party here and the adminis- 
tration, yourself and Mr. Webster. Mr. W.'s influence in the 
House, and the difficulty of our agreeing upon any gentleman to 
succeed him in case he should be elected to the Senate, makes it 
extremely desirable, that if you do not feel the sacrifice too great 
you should become a candidate. It would be unbecoming for me 
to urge you to this course but I may be permitted to state that with 
the party here no gentleman would be so entirely acceptable and Mr. 
Webster has stated to me that none would be more acceptable at 
Washington. You are sensible of the difficulties which occurred 
last winter in regard to this subject. It is very desirable to avoid 
them at the coming session if possible. I know of no way of doing 
it but by placing in nomination a gentleman whose talents and 
integrity will command the entire confidence of all. The crisis is 
an important one, our best talents are wanted, in this situation. 
If you feel any disinclination to this situation I hope you will not 
express this sentiment untill you have freely conversed with your 
friends in this place as advantage may be taken of any trifling 
circumstance of this kind. Very Respectfully Your obedient 

Gerry Fairbanks. 

Nathan Appleton to Levi Lincoln. 2 

Boston, 26 May, 1827. 

Dear Sir, — Your favour with an enclosure for the Hon. W. 
Webster is received but too late to be handed him before his de- 
parture for New York. Having had a confidential communication 
with him upon the subject of its contents I took the liberty in con- 
formity to his wish to open it previously to forwarding it to him, 
and allow me to add a request that you will not take any decided 

1 From the Lincoln Papers, f. 62. 

2 From the Lincoln Papers, f. 63. 


step in the premises before I have an opportunity of seeing you, 
which I will endeavour to do immediately after your arrival in this 
city, for which purpose I will make the proper enquiry at your 
lodgings. With great respect I have the honour to be Your excy's 
most obed't Serv't, 

N. Appleton. 

Daniel Webster to Levi Lincoln. 1 

Private and confidential. 

New York, May 30, 1827. 

Dear Sir, — I have received here your letter, communicated 
thro Mr. Appleton. I could very much have wished that you might 
have arrived at a different conclusion, on the question of going into 
the Senate. Nevertheless, I see that there is weight, in some of the 
reasons, which you mention, and I am aware also that there are 
other considerations, not stated by you, which, however little they 
may affect your own mind, very naturally would create, in others, 
regret at your leaving your present situation. Under existing 
circumstances, I feel it my duty to leave it to others to decide 
how the place shall be filled. If a satisfactory appointment can 
be made, without removing me from the place I am in, it will 
be highly agreeable to me; if it cannot, the matter must be dis- 
posed of as others may deem best. I am, my Dear Sir, with most 
true regard, Your Ob. Serv't, 

Dan'l Webster. 

From Charles Edward Forbes. 2 

Northampton, May 28, 1827. 

My dear Sir, — It gives me pleasure to learn that you are again 
a Member of the Legislature. 3 As such you will of course take an 
interest and probably an efficient part in the organization of the 
Government at the opening of the Session. It is impossible to 
divine precisely, what will be, politically, the complexion of the 
House, tho' it is confidently asserted and generally believed that 
it will not be essentially variant from the last. In which case, I 
cannot be wrong in believing that the idea of amalgamation in the 
selection of Counsellors, will be laid aside. The attempt to sur- 
round his Excellency with a mixed Council will hot it is hoped be 

1 From the Lincoln Papers, f. 64. 

2 Charles Edward Forbes (1795-1881), of the Massachusetts Supreme Court, 
and founder of the Forbes Library at Northampton, Mass. 

3 As a representative from Boston. 

igi6.] LETTERS TO JOHN BRAZER DAVIS, 1819-1831. 205 

made, or if made, will prove abortive. It is understood, that many 
of the Members of the present Council will decline a re-election, 
and among this number is the Hon. J. Fowler l from this district. 
In that event his successor ought in justice and according to an 
equitable rule of rotation which has been heretofore adopted, to 
be taken from this County, Franklin and Hampden having fur- 
nished the two last. I presume that a spirit of accommodation and 
courtesy will induce the Representative from the latter counties to 
concede the right to the former. You may not be acquainted with 
the Republican members from this county, but would of course 
consult with them if known to you. Perhaps no one would better 
represent the feelings of our friends in this vicinity than Oliver 
Smith, Esquire, the representative from Hatfield. Indeed, if he 
would consent to take the office himself perhaps no one would give 
more general satisfaction. 2 He is consistent, independent and dis- 
interested in his political course, was one of the electors of President 
at the last election and is a firm friend to the state and national 
administrations. His health, however, is such that it is doubtful 
whether he will consent to serve. In case he declines the office, 
Homer Bartlett Esq. has been named as a suitable candidate and 
is I believe in every respect entitled to confidence. There probably, 
will be an attempt made to procure the election of Col. J. Shepherd 
and considering the influence by which he will be supported, if a 
candidate, and the object of its exertion I have no hesitation in 
saying that it ought to meet with a decided opposition. There will 
be, in the course of the ensuing year, a vacancy in the office of 
Register of Probate and perhaps of judge of Probate in this county. 3 
The object of these exertions will be to place the power of disposing 
of these offices in the hands of those men who for more than twenty 
years past have both possessed and exercised despotic control in 
matters of the kind. No republican, unless influenced by interest or 
family connexions, can, I think, wish success to such an attempt, 
and if I am not under some strange delusion, you will feel a dis- 
position to resist and defeat it. There is only one professional 
gentleman of the republican party, who is a member of the Legis- 
lature from this county for the ensuing year. This is Mr. Law- 
rence 4 of Belchertown who will it is hoped have notice of the prog- 
ress of any arrangements of a political nature interesting to this 
section. I beg of you to consider this communication strictly con- 

1 James Fowler. 

2 He is not in the Council of 1828. 

3 In the office of Register Isaac C. Bates gave place to Samuel F. Lyman. 
There was no change in the judgeship, Samuel Hinckley continuing in that office. 

4 Myron Lawrence. 


fidential. I am, Sir, with highest respect and esteem Your most 
ob't friend and Serv't, 

Chas. E. Forbes. 

P.S. Since writing the above I have conversed with several 
Gentlemen and from the information derived from, am induced to 
believe that John Arms Esq. of Conway Franklin Co. or Colonel 
Foot l of Southwick, Hampden Co., would either of them be suit- 
able persons for the office, and that the election of either of them 
would meet with general approbation in this County. 

From Joseph E. Sprague 2 


Salem June 2. 1827. 

Dear Sir, — Unsolicited by me, my friends have again brought 
me forward as Candidate for the Council. I should be content to 
share my chance and stand upon the ground of a nomination were 
it not for the infamous means that always have been used to put me 
down. After however the attack upon me in the Statesman of to- 
day the friends of the administration I feel are bound to sustain me 
at all hazards. If I am not now supported I will withdraw myself 
entirely from politics. No one has labored more indefatigably. My 
life has been devoted to it and all I have received has been indignity 
and insult. If the nomination is left to the democrats in our County 
the vote would be against me, for the majority are of the same kidney 
that nominated Dunlap and Henshaw at the General Caucus and 
their nomination ought to be treated with the same respect. If you 
my dear Sir will make an effort, justice maybe done me notwithstand- 
ing any recommendation of another candidate. They talk of Mudge 
of Lynn. 3 He is insolvent and does business as Agent merely, he 
scarcely was in gentle company in his life. Weigate is also men- 
tioned. Both weak men who would disgrace us and their friends of 
the Government low as it is. All the Salem delegation except Phil- 
lips 4 I suppose are friendly to me. The Boston delegation also I 
suppose, Fuller, perhaps Jarvis 5 Sedgwick, 6 Dwight, 7 Washburn, 8 

1 Thaddeus Foote. 

2 (1782-1852), postmaster of Salem (1815-29), and later Sheriff of Essex 

3 Ezra Mudge, the successful candidate. 

4 Stephen Clarendon Phillips. 

5 William C. Jarvis, of Charlestown. 

6 Theodore Sedgwick, of Stockbridge. 

7 Jonathan Dwight, Jr., of Springfield. 

8 Emory Washburn, of Leicester. 

1916.] LETTERS TO JOHN BRAZER DAVIS, 1819-1831. 207 

in fact most of the leading men. If I am not now sustained I shall 
feel humbled indeed. Your friend, 

J. E. Sprague. 

Daniel Webster to Levi Lincoln. 1 


My dear Sir, — I have addressed a letter to you signifying my 
acceptance of the place of Senator. Supposing that nothing was 
to be done with this letter but to put it on the files of the Executive 
Department, I have confined it to the single purpose of expressing 
my intention to take the Office. If custom requires, as I suppose it 
does not, that this letter should be sent to the Legislature, I will be 
obliged to you to return it to me, that I may add a suitable expres- 
sion of acknowledgments, etc. 

This I could not do, I thought, with propriety, in a communica- 
tion made to the Executive, and not intended to be communicated. 
I presume no communication to the Legislature is necessary. Yours, 
very truly, 

Dan'l Webster. 

From Tobias Watkins. 

Washington, 13th June, 1827. 

Dear Sir, — Accept my thanks for your favor of the 8th inst. 
which was received yesterday and which brought me the earliest 
intelligence of Mr. Webster's election by the Senate of your State. 
The vote in both branches was highly honorable to him, and gives 
evidence of a prevalence of good feeling which I am truly rejoiced 
to see. 2 Such a man as Mr. W. is much wanted in the Senate where 
unfortunately our friends lack talents. In the other House we are 
decidedly superior to the Opposition not only in numbers but in 
strength of debate. Whom will you send in Webster's place? Blake 
is talked of here as probable. 3 

The cause of the Administration is advancing securely in every 
part of the Union. Every vote in Maryland is now secure; and the 
recent trip of V. Buren to the South has made such unfavorable 

1 From the Lincoln Papers, f. 65. 

2 June 7 the House of Representatives balloted in the choice of a Senator. The 
whole number of votes was 328, and Webster received 202; John Mills, 82; Elijah 
H. Mills, 22; William C. Jarvis, 8; Edward Everett, 6; Levi Lincoln, 3; Henry 
Shaw, 3; Joseph Story, 1; William Baylies, 1. On the following day the Senate 
balloted as follows: whole number of votes, 39; Webster, 26; John Mills, 11; 
Levi Lincoln, 1; Edward Everett, 1. 

3 Benjamin Gorham was elected in succession to Webster. 


impressions on his friends in New York, that they oppose his proj- 
ects at every point; and he has been obliged to declare that what- 
ever may be the will of the Party he will bow to it. In haste but very 
cordially and respectfully yours, 

T. Watkins. 

From Henry Alexander Scammell Dearborn. 

Boston, August 14, 1827. 

My dear Col., — I am much indebted to you for the very par- 
ticular and pleasing intelligence you were so kind as to communi- 
cate from Portland. I think you deserve to become an honorary 
member of the Medical Society of the State. 

This morning brings Buchanan's account of his conversation 
with General Jackson, 1 and so far from implicating Clay or his 
friends, I understand he states, that all he did say was from his own 
suggestion and entirely exonerates Clay and his friends. I have not 
seen the letter but it will be in the papers tomorrow. This is what 
I ever thought would be the result. From Pennsylvania the news 
is cheering. 

The President dines with me on the 17th and I wish you were of 
the party. 

My wife returned from Nahant on Thurdsay evening and is in 
superb health and spirits. Commodore Bainbridge and lady are 
with us to pass a week. 2 We shall set out on Monday or Tuesday 
for Middletown. 

Tell my much esteemed and excellent Dorcas I depend on her 
good offices for the merino work. 

Give my love to all the household, Doctor and Mrs. Parker and 
General Wingate. Pray go up there very often; it will wake him 
up and do him good. Your sincere friend, 

H. A. S. Dearborn. 

From John Bailey. 

Washington, 7 Feb'y, 1828. 

Dear Sir, — Yesterday I had the pleasure of receiving your 
letter of the 31st as I had before that of the 2 2d. I find the question 
of the mode of choosing Electors is before you. I could almost wish 
— I say almost — that the choice should be by districts; believing 
as I do, that every vote would still be for Mr. A[dams] by an over- 

1 Works of James Buchanan, 1. 263. 

2 William Bainbridge (1 774-1833). 

igi6.] LETTERS TO JOHN BRAZER DAVIS, 1 8 19-183 1. 20Q 

whelming majority, and knowing that the vote for the "unpledged" 
ticket of 1824 was enlarged (materially enlarged, I believe) by the 
votes of those who were friendly to Mr. A[dams] in consequence of 
their objections to the mode of choice. Still I know much may be 
said in favor of a general ticket. 

If any meeting should be had and resolutions published on the 
subject of the presidential election, it has seemed to me that some- 
thing should be said (very delicately, as Virginians would dislike any 
thing else) of the pleasure which Massachusetts (or the representa- 
tives of Mass.) have in the coincidence of feeling between so large a 
portion of Virginia and Massachusetts, and something referring to 
the fact that Massachusetts in three out of four cases gave its whole 
vote for the re-election of the Virginia presidents — Washington, 
Jefferson and Monroe. She would [have given] it also to Madison 
but for the pressure (a heavy one) of the embargo and war. But 
even then — under that tremendous pressure — the venerable 
patriot J. Adams put himself against the current of exasperated 
feeling, and would have voted for him but for that pressure, 

On every point we gain. Last night at nearly ten, after more 
than a fortnight's discussion, we carried by a majority of seven an 
amendment to the resolution, which then passed unanimously (on 
the final vote). I mean the resolution of retrenchment. The whole 
debate has been a sore thing to the opposition. They know there is 
no more to be said against this than against other administrations, 
and they do not wish the people to know it. But we say they shall 
know it. Let me hear from you. With great respect, Dear Sir, 
yours in truth, 

J. Bailey. 
From John Bailey. 

Washington, 8 March, 1828. 

Dear Sir, — I pray that my silence may not be judged severely, 
for we are overrun with all sorts of business — tariff, internal im- 
provements, Meade, 1 Jackson, etc., etc., all press on us, and we 
have scarcely time to be civil. Otherwise your favors of the 15th 
and 20th would have been sooner answered; especially should I 
have expressed the high satisfaction I had felt in conjunction with 
our friends here on the triumphant passage of your excellent 
Resolutions. 2 Though no one of common sense and information 
ever had a doubt of Massachusetts, yet we know what palpable 

1 Richard Worsam Meade (1778-1828), whose claim against Spain was urged 
for many years. 

2 See Boston Patriot, February 20, 1828. The resolutions endorsed Adams 
and Clay. 


falsehoods will be circulated on the eve of an election, which people 
at a distance cannot know the precise character of. On this account 
I am heartily glad that you offered and that the House by so strong 
a vote sustained your Resolutions. 

We are all full of hope. Excepting the trifling election in Frank- 
lin Co., Penn., every thing goes well, South, West and North, N. C. 
is doing excellently. The great battle is to be fought in Kent, in 
their State election in August. 1 That election is all-important — 
is the key to the grand result. 

We have just begun on the tariff. The bill you are aware was 
framed precisely to defeat itself, as it will if not amended as Mal- 
lary has proposed. If that amendment should prevail, others, tho' 
less essential, will be attempted. Without the first, the bill is not 
worth having. 

We hope to rise as early as May — it may be however late in that 

My friend Mr. Lovering informed me Mr. Fuller intended to send 
me a copy of the B[oston] & Prov[idence] Railroad Survey. If you 
should see Mr. F. and he should not be able to furnish me, I should 
be very much obliged if you could procure and send me a copy. I 
have received copies of the other Survey doc'ts. Yours in truth, 

John Bailey. 

P. S. Since writing the above I have received the B. & Pr. 

John Brazer Davis to John Bailey. 2 

Boston, 4th April, 1828. 

Dear Sir, — Your valued favor of the 8th has laid by me un- 
answered, because I had nothing of interest to communicate. Our 
approaching election recalls attention again to politics, after having 
been, now for a month, directed to matters of a more immediate, if 
not of so exciting and absorbing interest. 

If you read our newspapers, as doubtless you do, you will perceive 
that we are suffering from a want of a proper organization. In 
almost every county, there is a multiplicity of Senatorial tickets, 
almost all, professedly at least, in favor of the administration and 
yet the effect is to divide the vote and perhaps defeat the election 
of the right man. 

Governor Lincoln will be re-elected, almost without opposition. 

1 There is no Kent in North Carolina, and the reference is not sufficiently 
clear to determine what state is intended. 

2 From the Washburn Collection, 11. 1. 21. f. 46. 

1916.] LETTERS TO JOHN BRAZER DAVIS, 1819-1831. 211 

He is too strong to be shaken. If there is to be an organized oppo- 
sition to him it is a secret one. 

In this County, the administration ticket for Senators, I hope 
and believe, will prevail. I shall do what I can to help it. If I feel 
well enough, I mean to put " harness on my back" once more, and 
break another lance at Old Faneuil Hall on Sunday evening. I had 
resolved not to make another Caucus Speech, as I have already made 
some half dozen or so, three at least in the preparatory arrangements 
for the last Presidential Election. But on the present occasion, I 
cannot hold back; if, as my friends say, I can, by my poor efforts 
help a just and honorable and patriotic cause. If I am well enough, 
I mean even at some little hazard, to raise my voice again in the 
"Old Cradle." Do you remember the meeting at "Old Faneuil 
Hall " on February 14th, 1824? It was a stormy night out of doors, 
but we had a grand meeting in doors, and we nominated John 
Quincy Adams with a voice that told New England in language 
that she both understood and felt, to be true to herself. She was 
true to herself; she will be true. If defeat be in store for her, which 
it is not, let her be able to say, as Francis First said after the Battle 
of Pavia, "We have lost everything but our honor.'' 1 

I spoke of my health not being good. I worked myself too hard 
last winter and that combined with an influenza, gave me a pain in 
my chest, which however is now wearing off. Exercise, good air 
and fine weather, will I hope, work its cure. They are my medicine 
and my doctor too. 

You have despatched the Tariff and I hope you will despatch 
the session soon. I don't see that the nation is to be benefitted by 
a prolonging of your labors. But I forget myself! It ill becomes 
me, a humble individual, to express an opinion on a matter, which 
depends on the "congregated wisdom" of the Nation. I have the 
honor to be, Very resp'y, Your friend and most ob't Servant, 

J. B. Davis. 

From John Bailey. 

Washington, 10 May, 1828. 

Dear Sir, — It gave me great pleasure to hear from you that you 
were determined to engage in our Spring elections with whole soul; 
and it gives me very great pleasure to find the elections have termi- 
nated so favorably. To-day I have your Boston nomination for 
Representatives, and have particular pleasure in seeing your name 
on the list. I presume the ticket will be carried by a strong vote. 

The great measure of the Session — the tariff — is still under 
discussion in the Senate. Its fate is uncertain, though probably it 


will pass. The question it is not very improbable may be decided 
by the votes of Messrs. Webster and Silsbee. This state of the 
question places them in a peculiar and not very pleasant attitude. 
To vote for the bill, is to vote for some provisions which they must 
disapprove; and yet to vote against it, is to expose themselves, and 
through them the administration, to the charge however unfounded 
of being opposed to the protection of our manufactures. This is an 
embarrassing position, and requires all the wisdom and discretion 
which eminently belong to them. The amendments adopted already 
by the Senate make the bill decidedly better than it was when it 
passed the House; but still it has points wholly objectionable. The 
bill was engendered between the avowed anti-tariff men of the South, 
and the professed tariff Jackson men of the middle states, and 
framed most pointedly so as to bear heavily and injuriously on New 
England, in the hope that it would thus be defeated. The monstrous 
birth however could [not] preserve all its original odious features. 
It was so outrageous to the honest feelings of our nature, that its 
parents were obliged to yield in part, and allow it to lose a portion 
of its deformity — just enough to make it a matter of doubt whether 
its continued existence be more or less an object of desire than its 
death outright. A few days will probably determine its fate. 

Let me hear from you, especially how sentiment stands in rela- 
tion to our votes on the tariff. We have agreed to adjourn on the 
26th. I shall not probably start for Dorchester before the 29th or 
30th. With great respect, Dear Sir, your friend and servant, 

John Bailey. 

P.S. It may perhaps not be useless to have some view of [the] 
tariff question like the preceding appear in the papers to prepare 
the public mind for whatever result may take place. 



P.S. No. 2. Pardon the above. I took up the wrong glass — 
the ink instead of the sand-glass — it was evening. 


From John Bailey. 

Washington, 3 June, 1828. 

Dear Sir, — Your favor of the 21st was received a few hours 
after the adjournment of Congress. You are right in supposing the 
vote in the House of Representatives on the tariff bill as passed 
would have been very different from the one given. 

The organization of the two houses is very well (I have not seen 

igi6.] LETTERS TO JOHN BRAZER DAVIS, 1819-1831. 213 

how the Senate vacancies are filled) — though, without any un- 
friendly feelings towards Mr. Calhoun, I should have been truly 
happy if Mr. Fuller had been chosen. His talents, experience, and 
whole character deserved it. 

I am waiting here the arrival of my brother-in-law from the West 
Indies, Dr. Judson with his wife, where he has been for his health. 
We have looked for them every day for ten days past, and shall wait 
a few days longer, much to my regret. 

Will you have a decision this session on the B. & Prov. rail-road? 
I feel much interest in the general subject, and some in the route, 
the eastern one passing near me. I hope that route will be deemed the 

We have but little news here since the scattering of the flock. I 
hope soon to see you in person. With great respect Yours, 

J. Bailey. 

Mr. Clay it is expected will soon visit home. The President 
hopes to do the same during the season. Mr. Barbour will probably 
sail in eight or nine weeks. General Porter is expected soon. 


F. Sales * to John Brazer Davis. 

[September 25, 1828.I 

Dear Sir, — I send you enclosed a Translation of a Letter 2 
written by Seiior Vidaurre made by a pupil of mine, and which on 
a comparison with the original I have found as faithful as can be 
made. The expression of pottle-bellied is the only one that sounds 
disagreeably to my ear though true, should you think of a more 
delicate expression you will please to alter it, as also any other phrase- 
ology which you may judge best without altering the sense. 

The said Seiior Vidaurre has given me leave to have it published 
and even with his own name if it is thought proper. Should you 
determine to give a place in your paper to this valuable description 
of Bolivar you may make an honourable mention of the Writer as 
one of the most illustrious patriots, statesman and jureconsuls in 
South America: who has been Chief -Justice in Peru, President of 
the Congress of Panama, Minister of Foreign relations in the said 
Republic and Member of the Constituent Congress for the city of 
Lima. He is really a great man and a true republican in my humble 

1 The Boston Directory for 1828 gives the name of Francis Sales, teacher of 
languages and keeper of a bookstore, at 35 Washington Street, residing at 13 
Franklin Street. 

2 The letter, dated Boston, September 15, 1828, and signed M, L. Vidaurre, is 
printed in the Boston Patriot, September 26. 


opinion; and I regret that his productions are not understood 
in their original garb in this country, for by translating them they 
lose a great deal of their force and beauty. He is really a genius 
and hope he will soon be restored to his native country for its glory, 
prosperity and happiness. He is in my mind compared to Bolivar 
what John Quincy Adams is compared with our Chieftain. 

He is very much pleased with the distinguished notice taken of 
him in this country and certainly it was never more deservedly 
bestowed. I suppose you know him, therefore I will cease saying 
any thing more about him; only I request in case that you should 
publish said Letter that you would first peruse it carefully and make 
its reading as much better as you can, and write a little introduction 
in such way as you judge best. Yours sincerely, 

F. Sales. 

Excuse the scrawl. 

From Joseph E. Sprague. 

Salem, Sept. 27, 1828. 

Dear Davis, — There is one thing of importance which I wish 
you would attend to. Our electoral returns are to be scrutinized by 
unprincipled enemies. At the last election almost all the returns 
were irregular and defective. Ours in Massachusetts was compli- 
mented for its accuracy. It was drawn by Webster with great care. 
Why can't you get a copy from Bangs * and publish immediately in 
your paper, and to insure safety if you will strike of[f] on separate 
paper some thirty I will send duplicates to every friendly electoral 
College in the Union. Your friend, 

J. E. S. 

I send you the Ariel, return when you [have] done with it. 

From Isaac Munroe 2 

Baltimore, Nov. 21, 1828. 

My dear Sir, — At the time I received your acceptable favors 
I was so much engaged in the political tempest that I could not 

1 Edward Dillingham Bangs (1790-1838), secretary of the Commonwealth 

2 Isaac Munroe (1 785-1859) was born in Brighton, Mass. With David 
Everett he wrote Common Sense in Dishabille, and was the founder and first 
printer of the Boston Patriot. In 181 1 he removed to Baltimore, and established 
the Baltimore Patriot. 

iqi6.] LETTERS TO JOHN BRAZER DAVIS, 1819-1831. 215 

find a moment to give answer. But that is past and the day, to us, 
is lost. You have seen how the election terminated in Maryland. 
The Adams party did their best; 60 more votes in the upper district 
would have given us two more, making eight, and as to this district, 
more than 500 illegal voters were introduced from the county which 
borders on the city and is the den of Jacksonism. The great moral 
force of the city is decidedly with Mr. Adams, but the lower classes, 
of whose depths of degradation, you can have no idea, and who will 
dance days and nights, and shout and yell around a hickory tree, 
with as much beastly vulgarity as the worst of the Savage tribes 
of the forest at a Council fire, of such materials as these our dema- 
gogues of the day have laid hold and with inflammatory speeches, 
bull feasts and whiskey have stimulated them " to go the whole hog " 
for their grim Idol. When it is considered with what we have had 
to contend it is surprising that we did as well as we did. But even 
to have gained all would have been of no avail. In the final result I 
am neither disappointed nor cast down, for for the last six months 
I have been prepared for the worst. I hope from this time forward 
the New-England States will go in one solid column — they must 
see that no son of theirs will ever receive a Southern l vote. If you 
remain united your vote will always command respect, but once 
divided and you at once "become hewers of wood and drawers of 
water," and form a mere tail to the kite. I hope our friends will 
not become frightened with their threats about turning out of 
office, etc. Some changes will probably take place, but the cut 
throat policy wished and called for by the hungry cormorants who 
fight for plunder, will not be carried into effect. Here we ask no 
favors and put them at defiance. 

I was not a little surprised to find you at the editorial desk again. 
I thought the law would be more congenial to your habits. I 
observe you contemplate an enlargement. In this I would advise 
you to be cautious, it entails a heavy and lasting expense which is 
rarely requited by the public. In looking at your sheet I should 
say, were you to widen each column an n and make them half an 
inch longer, the same paper you now use would answer, but should 
you go larger, then you will have to pay at least 50 cents more in 
the ream, perhaps a dollar, besides an extra hand to be employed, 
thus creating an additional expense of $1000 or $1500 per ann. for 
which you will get no return. Adopt the first plan I mention, get a 
type with a small body and full face like the N. Y. Post; money will 
be saved and every thing desirable will be realized. It is the 
quality and not the quantity the public mostly look at. 

1 I mean south of the Potomac. Note by Munroe. 


Should you at any time between this [and] spring be disposed to 
part with an interest in the B[oston] P[atriot] and should deem me an 
acceptable associate, I should be strongly tempted to join you, as I 
have a fair chance of disposing of my interest here to considerable 
advantage, to Mr. Lewis late of the York Recorder, who has come 
to reside here. I have always contemplated to return to the "land 
of the pilgrims," sooner or later; and should something of this kind 
present, the time may be accelerated. I observe several editorial 
changes have been made in your city — most probably for the 
better. I should be glad to hear from you on the subject I have 
mentioned and also as to the standing and prosperity of the Boston 
newspapers generally; and be pleased also to honor me with your 
views of National politics. 

As I am writing in the parlour amid a confusion of tongues you 
must excuse incoherency. Mrs. Munroe joins me cordially in re- 
spectful regards to you and your better part. Very truly yours, 

Isaac Munroe. 

I am truly surprised at the great vote Jackson got in N. H. 
Unless the greatest caution and vigilance is observed, Hill will have 
control of the State next year — himself the Governor! 

I have just read the full account of the dinner to Major Ben. 1 I 
should like to have been present, it must have been lively. 2 

Woodbury 3 is talked of here as Secretary of the Navy — Cheves 4 
for the Treasury, also Tazewell 5 — Drayton, 6 Hayne, 7 Eaton 8 and 
Benton 9 for the War — Livingston 10 and poor old Crawford u for 
the State — Jona. Russell 12 and Wm. King 13 for Collector of Boston. 

1 Benjamin Russell, long senior among the newspaper men in Boston. "The 
dinner was served up at the Exchange in Col. Hamilton's usual style of excel- 
lence, and hilarity and good feelings were the order of the day. Mr. R. retires 
to private life with the sincere good-will of those, who were his former associates 
in an arduous and responsible profession." Boston Patriot, November 17, 1728. 

2 For some speculations by a Massachusetts man upon the Cabinet, after the 
appointment, see Francis Baylies, in Proceedings, xlvi. 328. 

3 Levi Woodbury. 

4 Langdon Cheves. 

5 Littleton Waller Tazewell. 

6 William Drayton. 

7 Robert Young Hayne. 

8 John Henry Eaton. 

9 Thomas Hart Benton. 
10 Edward Livingston. 

II William Henry Crawford. 

12 Jonathan Russell, who had suffered in his controversy with John Quincy 
Adams and his lawsuit against Seth Hunt. 
18 William King. 

1916.] LETTERS TO JOHN BRAZER DAVIS, 1819-1831. 217 

From Harrison Gray Otis 1 

Beacon St., Dec'r 12, 1828. 

To the Editor of the Patriot, Sir, — I am informed though 
not officially that at a very respectable meeting of my Fellow 
Citizens last evening it was determined to support me as a Candi- 
date for the Mayoralty of this City. I hope that in tendering my 
respectful thanks to the gentlemen who composed that meeting, 
for the honor done me, I may not be considered as merely comply- 
ing with ceremonial forms. My gratitude is as sincere and profound 
as it could be if the office were an object of my pursuit, or if I felt 
myself competent to its arduous duties. But it is too late for me to 
re-enter upon a career of public duty in an office requiring not only 
incessant occupation of mind but great physical alertness. I will 
not profess my inadequacy to the first of these claims, before it is 
detected by others, but I can not disguise the impediments to ful- 
filling the latter of them. My faculty of locomotion is occasionally 
impaired by lameness, and requires intervals of relaxation and 
repose to recruit it. In these intervals my feelings and the interest 
of the city would suffer. Mortification would be my portion and 
disappointment that of my supporters. Of this result I am so en- 
tirely persuaded, that no inducement — (not even my respect for 
the wishes of the gentlemen assembled and none more powerful 
could be felt by me) will encourage me to become a Candidate for 
the Office, or to enter upon its duties if chosen. 

H. G. Otis. 

D'r Sir, — You will oblige me by inserting this card, in your paper 
to-morrow. Respect'y your obed. St., 

H. G. Otis. 

From John Bailey. 

Washington, 18 Dec, 1828. 

Dear Sir, — I have not written you earlier, because I could give 
you very little information of a positive character. We are now of 
the sect of Quietists, waiting and watching for the development of 
affairs. All of us agree that our policy is not at present to press, 
believing that very soon the majority will divide, and movements 
will be on foot for the next President. Mr. A[dams] is in very good 
health and very good spirits. The report that he will fix himself 

1 This letter appeared in the Boston Patriot, December 13, 1828. In spite of 
this announcement Otis ran, and was elected. Morison, Harrison Gray Otis, n. 


here is incorrect. He has taken a house by the month, intending to 
enter it before the 4th of March — say February — and not go to 
New England before April or May. He has a granddaughter born 
2d inst. Mr. Clay is also in good health and spirits. Our Speaker 1 
you see is in difficulty, and will not easily clear himself. He will 
scarcely be re-elected next Dec. A grand crowd from "the Patriot 
states" is expected to be here in February, but I think the parade 
on Gen. J[ackson]'s entree will be omitted, for wise reasons. We 
have now Gen. A. Smyth 2 dissertating on the Constitution. Let me 
hear from you. Respectfully your friend, 

J. Bailey. 

From John Bailey. 

Washington, 7 Jan'y, 1830. 

Dear Sir, — I learn to-day from Mr. F. 3 that the terms of Mr. A. 
would be $3. for a letter of his usual length, I believe about two- 
thirds of a column, and $5. for a longer kind. These are his terms 
for several other papers whose correspondent he is. Mr. F. says 
he is remarkably well qualified for the business, and he is confident 
he would give satisfaction. If you should think it desirable to 
have him on these terms, I shall be happy to hear from you to that 

I find there were few if any nominations of recess appointments 
made on Tuesday. They probably will not be till the Virginia] 
Senators arrive. Many of the Jacksonians are very sore about 
Baldwin's appointment. 4 Ramsey of Pennsylvania 5 — a warm 
partizan — sits by me in the house. Yesterday when he took his 
seat I said to him, "Well, your friend Baldwin is nominated." "My 
friend?" said he, "no; your friend — it is your friend Baldwin." 

Arnold 6 finished his speech to-day. To-morrow Lea 7 speaks. 
I do not expect A. will succeed, though I think he has more in his 
favor than he had at first. 

The judiciary bill is postponed, on account of the contested elec- 
tion. It's fate is uncertain. Yours truly, 

J. Bailey. 

1 Andrew Stevenson (1784-1857). 

2 Alexander Smyth (1765-1830). He came to Virginia from Ireland in 1775. 
8 Peter Force? 

4 Henry Baldwin, of Pittsburg, who succeeded Justice Bushrod Washington 
on the Supreme Court. See Proceedings, xlvi. 337. 
6 William Ramsey (1779-1831). 

6 Benedict Arnold, of New York. 

7 Pryor Lea (1794- after 1847), of Tennessee. 

igi6.] LETTERS TO JOHN BRAZER DAVIS, 1819-1831. 2IQ 

From John Bailey. 

Washington, 19 Feb., 1830. 

Dear Sir, — Will it be an apology for my long delays to answer 
several points in your last letter, that I have many others of earlier 
date yet unanswered? I fear it is a poor one. Perhaps a better one 
will be to appeal to your knowledge of the thousand and one avoca- 
tions that every day presents to one situated as we are here. 

Before this reaches you, you will have seen the rejection of L. 
Williams 34 to 11 — supposed to be from the strong appeals made 
to the Senate on old party grounds. A motion has been made to 
re-consider — its fate uncertain. This is the only rejection that 
has been made, though enough has been done to indicate that some 
others will take place — Lee l it is fully believed — Henshaw, 2 
Hill, 3 and Kendall, 4 etc., it is hoped. The late and still existing de- 
bate on Foot's resolution 5 has tended rather to combine the two 
portions of the majority. 

You ask if we of the Minority do not omit organization too long. 
I think not. I think the chance of gain from the course is greater 
than that of loss. 

In relation to Troup's absence, I believe the cause assigned was 
the real one — the death of the female who had charge of his family 
of children, which rendered his presence very necessary. 6 

The jarrings of the Cabinet are composed (not healed I presume) 
for the present. It seems to me impossible that harmony can long 
continue, even ostensibly. 

So Rail-roads in Mass'tts are dead. Why cannot individuals 
unite and get incorp'd for constructing one from B. to Providence. 
I do believe it would be a good investment. It ought to be made 
with some reference to a branch to Taunton. 

Will Morton make a formidable fight? Yours truly, 

J. Bailey. 

From Seth Sprague. 7 

[March, 1830.] 
Dear Sir, — I understand the Republican convention have nom- 
inated Doctor Arad Thompson 8 of Middleborough and Solomon 

1 William Lee, son of General Henry Lee of Virginia. 

2 David Henshaw, of Massachusetts, collector of customs at Boston. Pro- 
ceedings, xlv. 171. 

3 Isaac Hill (1778-1851). 4 Amos Kendall (1789-1869). 
6 Which gave rise to the Webster-Hayne debate. 

6 III health he gave as the reason, and wished to resign. Harden, George M. 
Troup, 508. 

7 (1787-1856), best known for his speech of reception to Webster at Marshfield. 

8 ( 1 786-1845). See Weston, History of Middleboro, 240. 


Lincoln Jr. Esq. of Hingham for Senators. I am pleased to learn 
that Mr. Thompson is an Adams Republican and Lincoln you 
know is not a Jackson man. They are both men of the first re- 
spectability. Mr. Thompson I am well acquainted with and he is 
really an excellent man highly esteemed by his acquaintance for 
his modesty and moral virtue celebrated as a Physician and will 
do honour to the country if elected. I am pleased with the selection. 
I had some fears, but am told they had a large and respectable 
convention. I hope you will treat the nomination with candour 
and liberality. I am doubtful whether the National Republi- 
cans had a single Republican of the Old School at their conven- 
tion, their chairman I am not acquainted with. Yours with much 
respect and unfeigned regard. 

S. Sprague, Jr. 

I see the Daily Advertiser has a communication attacking Peleg 
Sprague. 1 I should like it if you would give Mr. Hale a little editorial 
rebuke. Yours, 

S. Sprague. 
From John Bailey. 

Washington, 9 April, 1830. 

Dear Sir, — Your favor of the 5th with the votes of Boston, etc., 
as well as a previous one giving early returns of the New Hamp- 
shire election. For both of them I thank you. They both gave 
information in anticipation of the regular accounts, and were highly 

Of news here we have not much. The nominations are hung up 
for the present, and I am happy to have very strong hope that 
such nominations as Hill, Kendall, Noah, 2 Henshaw, etc., will be 
rejected. Time alone however can test. The Indian discussion 
has commenced in the Senate. Frelinghuysen 3 has gone largely 
and ably into the subject, in reply to a very inconclusive speech of 
Judge White of Tenn. 4 M'Kinley 5 has commenced a rejoinder, 
avowing the broad principle (if I understood on five minutes' at- 
tention) that the Indians have no rights. Georgia is the Sovereign, 
and therefore may do just what she pleases, though he thought 
doubtless humanity might come into the business, yet this is wholly 
at her option. Most probably the House will not take up the 

1 (1793-1880). He was United States Senator from Maine (1829-35) an d a 
brother of the writer of this letter. 

2 Mordicai Manuel Noah (1 785-1851). 

3 Theodore Frelinghuysen (1787-1862), of New Jersey. 

4 Hugh Lawson White (1 773-1840), of Tennessee. 

5 John McKinley (d. 1852), of Alabama. 

iqi6.] LETTERS TO JOHN BRAZER DAVIS, 1819-1831. 221 

subject till the Senate shall have acted. We are toiling on the 
Buffalo & New Orleans road, but find it heavy work. 

The affair of the Telegraph and New York Courier and Enquirer is 
an index of what all have believed must sooner or later happen. 
It has now gone so far that retreat is scarcely possible. No overt 
fact has shown a participation of the principals either in the pub- 
lications or the feelings necessarily resulting from them. Yet it 
cannot be doubted in either respect. Nor can notoriety be long 
withheld from the latter. In the mean time it is our course to avoid 
systematic efforts as long as possible. I do not think we have yet 
lost by inaction. We have now from five to seven weeks — more 
probably the latter. 

I had got thus far when, listening to a debate in which Cambre- 
leng, 1 Drayton 2 and Martin 3 were engaged relative to a Charleston 
hospital. A member from North Carolina sitting by me said, "Do 
you see when a subject relating to South Carolina or New York 
comes up, what bitterness there is shown?" This is mentioned only 
as a "sign of the times." 

I am heartily glad that Lincoln will be elected by a strong vote. 
Let me hear from you. Yours, 


P.S. April 10. To-day an incident like that of yesterday oc- 
curred. A Resolution from the Military Committee calling on the 
Secretary of War to report to the next Session a plan for reducing 
the officers of the army was supported by Desha, 4 Polk, 5 Drayton, 
etc., and opposed by Cambreleng. The hour expired, and it lies 

From John Bailey. 

Washington, 24 April, 1830. 

Dear Sir, — The great question respecting the Indians was 
taken in the Senate to-day. Frelinghuysen's amendment (going to 
the protection of the Indians) was negatived — 20 to 27. Hendricks, 6 
Noble, 7 and Johnston 8 (Indiana and Louisiana have Indians) were 
the only friends of the late adm[inistratio]n who voted in the ma- 

1 Churchill Caldom Cambreleng (1 786-1862), of New York. 

2 William Drayton (1 776-1846), of South Carolina. 

3 William D. Martin (1 789-1833), of South Carolina. 

4 Robert Desha (d. 1849), of Tennessee. 

5 James Knox Polk (1 795-1849), of Tennessee. 

6 William Hendricks (1 783-1850), of Indiana. 

7 James Noble (c 1 790-1831), of Indiana. 

8 Josiah Stoddard Johnston (1 784-1 833), of Louisiana. 


jority — Barnard 1 the only Jacksonian in the minority. Wood- 
bury, Sanford, 2 Dudley 3 and Dickerson 4 were the only Senators 
northeast of Virginia, Kentucky and Indiana, who voted against 
the Indians. General Samuel Smith absent. 

I have strong hopes that the House will interpose the protecting 
arm of the nation in support of public faith. 

In the House the impeachment of Judge Peck 5 has been voted 
by more than two-thirds. Yours in haste, 

J. Bailey. 

From John Bailey. 

Washington, 22 May, 1830. 

Dear Sir, — I ask of you the favor to send my paper to Milton 
P. 0. after the paper of Wednesday the 26th. 

Noah is here, and has been to-day nominated again to the Senate. 
He has been here about a week. Whether he and the President 
have gained over one of the 25 or not, I do not know. Tazewell, 
who voted against him, is absent for the session, leaving 24 to 23. 
Marks 6 has been ill, but has been in his seat to-day. No nomination 
yet in Hill's place. What is to be done is a subject of speculation 
but not of knowledge. 

On Monday we shall again take up the Indian bill, and shall 
probably take some decisive question on that or the next day. It 
will be a very close vote. We have strong hopes of success, but still 
are in danger of defeat. If we succeed, it will most probably be by 
adopting Hemphill's 7 amendment. Yours in truth, 

J. Bailey. 

From John Bailey. 

Washington, Sunday morn'g, 4 o'clock, 
30 May, 1830. 

Dear Sir, — We have been in session since ten o'clock yesterday 
morning, except a recess from four to six p. m. Since ten o'clock 
in the evening we have had to contend for every inch against a 
most determined effort of the minority to delay by every possible 
motion to adjourn, lay on the table, call the house, etc. — calling 
for the ayes and noes on every occasion. We have had during the 

1 Isaac D. Barnard (1 791-1834), of Pennsylvania. 

2 Nathan Sanford (1777-1838), of New York. 

3 Charles Edward Dudley (1780-1841), of New York. 

4 Mahlon Dickerson (1770-1853), of New Jersey. 

6 James H. Peck, of the United States District Court in the state of Mis- 
souri. He was tried but acquitted. 

6 William Marks (1778-1858), of Pennsylvania. 

7 Joseph Hemphill (1 770-1842), of Pennsylvania. 

1916.] LETTERS TO JOHN BRAZER DAVIS, 1819-1831. 223 

time several very important bills in hand; among them the Massa- 
chusetts Claim bill, the tonnage bill, the light-house and harbor 
bill, etc., etc. We have passed them all. The yeas and nays on 
Massachusetts Claim are ayes 86, nays 22 (taken this moment). 

The Massachusetts Claim bill is changed from that of the Senate, 
making it similar to the one reported a few years ago, providing 
that the claim be referred to the accounting officers of the treasury, 
and that it be paid when the troops were not too many, were called 
out on invasion or well grounded apprehension of it, were called 
out by United States authority, or afterwards recognized, etc. 

Excuse extreme haste. Yours, 

John Bailey. 

P.S. The amendment goes to the Senate, but will doubtless be 
concurred in. 

From John Collins Warren 1 

Boston, June 21, 1830. 

Dear Sir, — Agreeably to your request I send you some papers 
relating to dissections. The Ms. is a concise history of Anatomy — 
which I thought you might be desirous to look over; as affording 
a view of the groundwork of the subject. 

It gives me great pleasure and will to the whole community to 
find that you take an interest in this subject, of such vital impor- 
tance to the welfare and honour of our community. 

Should we succeed in getting the study legalized in this State, it 
would raise us high in the estimation of the Philosophical world in 
this country and abroad. With great respect Yrs, 

J. C. Warren. 

Be so kind as to return the Ms. when you have done with it. 

The others it is not necessary to trouble yourself to return. In 
the last Quarterly Review but one; and in the last Christian Examiner 
are valuable papers on the subject. 

From William Wolcott Ellsworth. 2 

Hartford, July 2 2d, 1830. 

Dear Sir, — I have this morning received a circular, from Boston, 
with your name attached to it, with others. I am truly happy to see 

1 (1778-1856). In 1830 an application was made by the Medical Society to 
the legislature to permit dissection, "and an extensive and valuable Report was 
prepared by John B. Davis, Esq., and read before the House of Representatives." 
Warren, Life of John Collins Warren, 1. 410. 

2 (1791-1868). 


this movement and will early inform you of what is done here.- At 
present, I can only say that three if not four of the Newspapers of 
this City, out of five, have nominated Henry Clay; who is, beyond all 
questions, the most prominent and promising candidate in this region. 
Our State politics are in such an unsettled condition that I can't 
now say what may be expected. There is I trust a great majority 
opposed to the Administration. With great respect, Your Humble 

Wm. W. Ellsworth. 

From Dutee Jerauld Pearce. 1 

Newport, July 23d, 1830. 

Dear Sir, — Your favor of the 19th I have received. A Great 
Majority of the people of this State, is opposed to General Jackson, 
and his administration, and it will so appear whenever there is an 
organized opposition to that administration. We have, however, 
experienced great embarrassments from not having our candidate in 
the field, which will increase until Mr. Clay is placed properly be- 
fore the people. Further delay may be dangerous. It is time the ball 
was put in motion. Although the people of this County will not 
be behind their neighbours, it would be better to begin the work in 
this State, in the County of Providence, the most populous county 
in the State. You can hereafter address me and Nathaniel S. 
Ruggles, on any subject connected with an opposition to the present 
administration. I have nothing of importance to communicate. 
The newspapers generally furnish us with favorable indications. 
The West will as I think do well. We have much to hope for in New 
York. I have not yet seen in Pennsylvania such evidences of 
changes as I could wish. Very respectfully yours, 

Dutee J. Pearce. 

Isaac Munroe to A. H. Everett, 2 N. Hale, 3 and J. B. Davis. 

Baltimore, July 23, 1830. 

Gentlemen, — I have just received your letter of the 19th, and 
hasten to reply as you desire. I can assure you that the friends of 
Mr. Clay in this State are not unmindful of the importance of con- 
cert, organization and action, to secure his success, at the next 
election. We have now on hand an important election which takes 

1 (1789-1849). 

2 Alexander Hill Everett (1 792-1847), editor of the North American Review. 

3 Nathan Hale, editor and proprietor of the Boston Daily Advertiser. See 1 
Proceedings, xviii. 270. 

igi6.J LETTERS TO JOHN BRAZER DAVIS, 1819-1831. 225 

place the first Monday in October next, which turns entirely upon 
the question — Jackson or Clay. We have now, as you probably 
are aware, a Jackson Governor, Council, Senate and House, and all 
the offices in the State of the least importance, are now held by 
Jackson men. To prostrate, at a blow, such a host, is no ordinary 
work, and on the face of things, it looks rather appalling, but we 
shall go to work — aye, we are at work in good earnest, and shall 
demolish the whole fabric 1 Yes, unless something occurs more than 
can possibly now be conceived of, the Clay party in Maryland will 
triumph in October by a most decisive majority. We have the very 
best accounts almost daily from all parts of the State, which fully 
authorise me to give you this assurance; and I do not know a Jack- 
sonite in this city who dares to hazard anything to the contrary. 
Yet they are called upon from head-quarters to make a struggle, 
and this call they will obey, but to no effect. Our friends are alive 
to the evils that have already been inflicted upon the country, and 
are determined to put an end to the calamity in this State at least. 

So far as Maryland is concerned, deeming this as of the first im- 
portance, we are pretty well organized and the system is complet- 
ing. At the meeting of the Legislature (and perhaps before) in 
December, a complete organization will take place with regard to 
the Presidency, and you may set down Maryland as decided for Mr. 
Clay. Besides the revolution in public sentiment, counties will go 
for him that could not be induced to go for Mr. Adams, particularly 
three of the Western counties, say Frederick, Washington, and Al- 
leghany. I give you now this hasty outline, and, expecting shortly 
to be in Boston, it will then afford me pleasure to give you any de- 
tails that you may desire. 

I shall lay your letter before the friends of the cause in this city, 
and it will also be imparted to many of our friends in other parts of 
the State. To find their efforts so fully sustained by Massachusetts, 
will present a cheering incentive to increased exertion. I am very 
truly and cordially your friend and fellow-laborer, 

Isaac Munroe. 

P.S. I have written in the midst of newspaper avocations with 
the thermometer at 93 and rising. 

William Jarvis l to A. H. Everett, N. Hale, and J. B. Davis. 

Weathersfield, Vt., July 24th, 1830. 
Gentlemen, — I have been favored with your Circular of the 
19th Inst, and was highly gratified to find, that my fellow-citizens 

1 (1 770-1859). See A ppletori's Cyclopcedia of American Biography. 


in Massachusetts were so much in favor of the election of that dis- 
tinguished, able, upright, and straightforward statesman Henry 
Clay. Being opposed upon principle to the election of a headstrong 
military man to the chief magistracy of this union, who by his pre- 
vious public life had clearly shewn that, neither the Constitution, or 
the laws of his country, nor the instructions of the Government were 
any barrier to the pursuit of such measures as his own arbitrary will 
or his vindictive temper had suggested to be expedient, I was still in 
hopes that he would select such a Cabinet as might keep his temper 
under some restraint and one that would recommend only such 
measures as were calculated to promote the well being of our country; 
for, otherwise, I felt persuaded that his election would be fraught 
with the greatest mischief to the purity of our republican institutions. 
But, so far from my hopes being, even remotely, realized, it appears 
to me that his Cabinet have been the advocates of, or have tamely 
fallen in with his views; and that the only evidence of mental powers 
which they have evinced, have been in a cunning course of manage- 
ment and intrigue, and an artful sophistry calculated to gloss over 
their selfish, vindictive, corrupt and corrupting policy. 

To relieve our country from such an administration must be the 
ardent desire of every American who wishes to hand down to his 
children the blessings of the free institutions which we derived from 
our fathers. The talents, integrity and patriotism of Henry Clay 
eminently point him out as the man on whom public opinion must 
concentrate to accomplish this desirable object. But, did I not 
entertain the highest opinion of the talents and sound judgment of 
yourselves, and the many distinguished men who immediately sur- 
round you, I should have had my doubts whether, under the existing 
hostility of the South to New England interests, and the coldness, 
at least, of the Middle and Western States towards us, if not some 
latent prejudices against us, it would not have been more prudent 
to have let this movement come altogether from the Western or 
Middle States, and we to have appeared as only following the track 
which they pointed out as being in accordance with our wishes. 
But I beg you to be assured, Gentlemen, that, whatever my age and 
infirmities will allow me to do, to forward so desirable an object, I 
shall cheerfully undertake. 

In reply to that part of your letter requesting me to communicate 
to you "the state of public sentiment on this great national ques- 
tion" in this state and vicinity, I can with pleasure assure you that in 
this County the voice of a very large portion of our freemen is de- 
cidedly in favor of Mr. Clay. The population of this County l is 

1 Windsor County. 

igi6.] LETTERS TO JOHN BRAZER DAVIS, 1819-1831. 227 

about 38,000, and I am persuaded that neither Jackson, Calhoun 
nor Van Buren could obtain 1,000 votes for President, nor do I be- 
lieve 500. We have, however, a pretty numerous body of anti- 
masons who are generally opposed to the present administration; 
but who would not give their votes to Mr. Clay if he is a mason; but 
if not I think he will have their united vote. This body, Gentlemen, 
I think ought to be attended to in New York, Pennsylvania, this 
State and wherever else anti-masonry has taken much foothold. 
Should Mr. Clay not be a mason, from what I know of the anti- 
masons in this State, I am persuaded, that by a conciliatory course 
of conduct, and some address, the whole of that party might readily 
be brought to his support, which I think to be an object well worthy 
of attention. 

In Rutland County which is the next largest in the State, and 
where I have recently been, I find Mr. Clay to be decidedly the 
popular candidate, and I believe him to be the favorite candidate 
throughout the State, with the exception of some 20 or 30 towns 
where Jacksonism has a small majority. 

Will it be better to organize a State Committee for the present, 
and sometime hence extend them to the Counties, and subsequently 
to the towns; or forthwith organize a Committee in each County and 
extend them to such Towns as are doubtful? You must be sensible 
that much more exertion will be necessary in wavering or doubtful 
Counties and Towns, than in those whose opinions are decidedly in 
favor of Mr. Clay's election. 

The good work is going well on in Kentucky but I do not perceive 
much movement in Ohio, Indiana or New York. In Pennsylvania 
I apprehend the public mind is not at present sufficiently cured of 
their old prejudices in favor of Jackson to take any very decided 
stand in favor of Mr. Clay. Must they not be weaned from their 
misdirected attachment to a perfidious and cruel foster-father, be- 
fore they will adopt another, even although that other is really 
friendly to their interests, feelings and wishes? 

Appearances indicate that the feelings of Virginia in favor of her 
gifted son Mr. Clay may finally overcome her prejudices against 
the American system with the great mass of the people, notwith- 
standing the opposition of the high-flying politicians of the Rich- 
mond junto. 

With the assurance of my high respect, I remain, Gentlemen, 
Your most obedient Servant, 

Wm. Jarvis. 


From Andrew Leonard Emerson. 

Portland, 26th July, 1830. 

Dr. Sir, — I was much gratified to perceive by the receipt of the 
Circular from you, that a system of operations for the next Presi- 
dential Election was already commenced. We have not yet ap- 
pointed any Committees of Correspondence, all our attention being 
engrossed by the preparation for our State Elections in September. 
We will however seasonably attend to that subject, and in the mean 
time, any information you may want will be cheerfully furnished 
by me and others of our friends in this town. 

We have not been unmindful of the proposal to nominate Mr. Clay 
at our State Convention and have frequently discussed the expe- 
diency of the measure; but we differ in opinion on the subject. There 
are two objections to the step at this time, which induce some to 
think it inexpedient; its effect on our State Election, and the effect 
on the measure abroad, if we fail in this State. The parties are 
about equal in this State, and many of our warmest friends, partic- 
ularly in this County, are opposed to the American System; in such 
a situation it is not best to hazard any thing; if we were sure of pre- 
vailing here the measure would be politic, as it is, it might injure us. 
Again — if we nominate Mr. Clay and fail of carrying our State 
Election, the effect will be bad in other States and produce the 
impression that the State is decidedly opposed to him. These con- 
siderations have inclined me to believe that it will not be expedient 
to nominate him at present in this State. If we re-elect Mr. Hun toon * 
and have a majority in the Legislature, there is every reason to be- 
lieve that this State will throw all (or nearly all) its Electoral votes 
for Clay; if we fail the reverse will probably take place. Our friends 
are resolute, active and sanguine of success, but I think the issue 
doubtful. There are many however, who think it will be well to 
nominate Mr. Clay at our Convention, and they may procure the 
adoption of the measure; I have also seen several letters from Massa- 
chusetts, urging the measure — among others one from General 
Dearborn and another from Mr. Sprague of Salem. 

Any communications to Joseph Adams, Esq., Nathan Cumings, 
Esq., or myself will be attended to. Respectfully your friend, 

A. L. Emerson. 

1 Jonathan Glidden Huntoon (d. 1851), a native of Unity, N. H. 

iqi6.] LETTERS TO JOHN BRAZER DAVIS, 1819-1831. 229 

From Philip Richard Fendall. 1 

Washington, July 27, 1830. 

Sir, — I have the honor to acknowledge the receipt of a circular, 
dated at Boston on the 20th inst. and signed by yourself, Mr. A. H. 
Everett and Mr. Hale. In compliance with a request contained in 
it, I address this my answer to you. 

No difference of opinion can exist among Mr. Clay's political 
friends throughout the Union on the expediency of immediate and 
concerted action in order to secure success to the great principles 
of which he is the representative; and they cannot but perceive with 
lively satisfaction that an early movement on this subject has been 
made in the great State of Massachusetts. The example set in a 
State so illustrious as she is in the Revolutionary and Constitutional 
history of our country, will inspirit the friends of our cause every- 
where, and will, there is no room for doubting, be speedily and ex- 
tensively followed. The recent popular movements in Kentucky 
have placed Mr. Clay before the People, in a manner at once the 
most impressive and the least liable to misconstruction. To give 
effect to the nomination thus made, the plan indicated by your 
Committee is, in the present state of things, indispensable. 

A plan similar to that which your Committee desire to see put 
in operation had occurred so early as last summer, to the friends of 
Mr. Clay in this District, as deserving their attention. About that 
time they assembled, and appointed a Committee to correspond, at 
the proper time, with such other Committees as might be established 
throughout the country, with the same common object. Mr. 
Richard S. Coxe, 2 a distinguished member of the Washington bar, 
was appointed its chairman. I have handed to him the letter which 
I am now answering, and it will be laid before the Committee at a 
meeting to be held this evening for the purpose of receiving it. They 
will communicate their views in detail to you; and I need not there- 
fore at this time say more than remark generally, that public senti- 
ment in this District is warmly and by an overwhelming majority 
hostile to the present Administration and friendly to Mr. Clay. Such 
dispositions on the part of the People of the District are, though they 
have no votes, not unworthy of attention. The political centraiity 
of Washington, its contiguity to several Congressional Districts in 
Maryland, and other considerations which will readily present them- 

1 (1 794-1868). In 1829 Van Buren had dismissed him from the Department 
of State. He became a prominent lawyer at Washington and held office. His 
intention of writing a history of the Adams' administration (1825-1829) was 
never fulfilled. 

2 Mention of him will be found in Adams, Memoirs. In 1846 he wrote a Review 
of the Relations between the United States and Mexico. 


selves to your mind, render it a point of importance. Our adver- 
saries at the last Presidential election made good use of it; and it may 
be hoped that the efficiency of their " Central" Committee here 
may stimulate us to imitate their diligence as much as we eschew 
their principles. I am, Sir, with great respect, Yr. Obt. Servant, 

P. R. Fendall. 

John W. Taylor 1 to A. H. Everett, N. Hale, and J. B. Davis. 

Ballston Spa, [N. Y.,] July 28, 1830. 

Gentlemen . — At the last Presidential election, the northeastern 
quarter of the State of New York, gave to Mr. Adams its entire vote. 
The election of General Jackson, in its manner and triumphant ma- 
jority, filled the minds of our friends with despondency and many 
were ready to give all up for lost. At our election last autumn, for 
Senator and Members of Assembly, nearly all the counties in the 
district above mentioned went against us. Our case appeared hope- 
less; and would have continued so to the present moment, had it not 
been for the folly, proscription and misrule of the present adminis- 
tration. But the People begin to be alarmed. Plain sensible farmers 
in their daily intercourse with each other are heard to say "Our 
liberties are in danger." " Jackson governs the United States like 
a conquered country!" "We must resist or our freedom is gone 
forever." " We may as well die fighting as to lie down in the furrow." 
I put these expressions in quotation because they are the very words 
used, and in some cases by those who were loudest in support of the 

In regard to our candidate, public sentiment here is well united. 
It points clearly to Henry Clay. His principles are pure and manly. 
His talents of the first order are well known to the nation. Even his 
failings lean to the side of magnanimity, liberality and human 
rights. If elected he will be President in fact, and not a catspaw for 
intriguers. The battle has to be fought. On one side are the friends 
of the constitution, of real national independence, and freedom of 
opinion. On the other, the personal adherents of a man who has 
proved himself incompetent to the duties of the high station to which 
fortuitous circumstances have elevated him. 

It matters not how soon our candidate is formally announced. As 
it was with Thomas Jefferson in 1798 so is it with Henry Clay now: 
He is the Republican candidate by general consent, and will be sup- 
ported as such whether nominated or not. 

We are no great hands in this quarter for public meetings. Our 

1 (1784-1854). 

igi6.] LETTERS TO JOHN BRAZER DAVIS, 1819-1831. 23 1 

electioneering campaigns are short and sharp, but as we have to 
choose our representatives the first of November, it is probable we 
shall meet after haying and harvest is over to talk about our candi- 
dates and other public matters. Very faithfully Your obed. servt., 

John W. Taylor. 

From Peleg Sprague. 

Hallowell, [Me.,] Aug. 2d, 1830. 

Dear Sir, — I herewith send you the account of the proceedings 
of our State Convention of the 30th of July. The number assembled 
I have no doubt exceeded two thousand. All the Counties excepting 
Washington were represented. The feeling in favor of Mr. Clay was 
evidently very strong and decisive. The resolution with respect to 
him is not stronger than the general sentiment there exhibited, and 
will be cordially received by those opposed to General Jackson in 
all parts of the State. We shall have a vigorous contest this fall — 
our friends are confident of success — but I cannot but indulge some 
fears of the effect of the organization, discipline and activity of our 
opponents. I have omitted answering the letter of Mr. Everett, Mr. 
Hale and yourself until this time that the doings of the Convention 
might be communicated at the same time. I am very respectfully 
yours, P. Sprague. 

From Andrew Leonard Emerson. 

Portland, [Me.,] 7th August, 1830. 

Dear Sir, — I was much gratified on the receipt of your letter to 
perceive the interest which our Boston friends take in our election: 
I agree with you it is of very great importance that we should suc- 
ceed and I have been devoting my unwearied exertions for that pur- 
pose. Notwithstanding my fears I think we shall conquer, but our 
strength is so equally balanced, that any remission of exertion on 
our part, even in one town, may be decisive against us. I have the 
misfortune of being Chairman of our State Committee, and conse- 
quently very great labor to perform: our friends in each County as- 
sure us of a gain, but they may be deceived, and we cannot yet 
estimate the effects of that History which is spread over the State. 
I am afraid of Oxford and Penobscot Counties, whose territories are 
large, and traversed only by Census-takers with their electioneering 
documents. The sinews of war are not abundant in those regions 
among our friends, who have no United States Treasury to resort 
to: Portland has already been burthened beyond her proportion, 
and has enough to do to look to this County. There are one or two 
Presses in a sinking state and require nutriment: you can know 


nothing in Massachusetts of the many obstacles we have to contend 
with, where we fear danger in every step and yet must assume every 
appearance of confidence. A few judicious letters signed perhaps by 
your corresponding Committee (not a printed Circular) encouraging, 
urging and persuading, and directing their attention to the impor- 
tance of our Election, may produce a favorable effect. Let there be 
nothing like dictation in them, and seal them in such manner that 
no Post Office spy can read the contents. I add the names of those 
to whom you may safely direct the letters. Wm. Clark 1 Esq. 
Counsell. at Law, Hallowell. Edward Kent l Esq., Bangor, Couns. 
at Law. William Emmons Esq., Augusta. Hon. Ebenezer S. 
Phelps, 2 Fairfield, Somerset Co. Hon. Solomon Parsons, Sebec, 
Penobscot Co. Wm. Stevens Esq., Belfast, Couns. at Law. Hon. 
Rewel Washburn, 3 Livermore, Oxford Co. Levi Whitman Esq., 
Norway, Oxford Co. Couns. at Law. James Osgood Esq., Fryburgh. 
Benj. Folsom l Esq., Eastport. Samuel M. Pond * Esq., Couns. at 
Law, Buxport. Timothy Boutelle 1 Esq. Couns. at Law, Waterville. 
Hon. Joseph Dane, 4 Kennebunk. Perhaps you, or some friend in 
Boston, may be personally acquainted with some one named; if so a 
letter from one acquainted will be better received. These secret 
confidential letters have a fine effect — do not neglect them unless 
too troublesome. I presume Mr. Sprague 5 and Mr. Holmes have 
been written to by Mr. Webster or some other of your eminent men ; 
Mr. H. is zealous and active, a little urging will not hurt Mr. Sprague. 
I have answered your inquiries relative to sinews, etc. ; you can see 
whether we need strengthening in the remote Counties. I may be 
in Boston next week, and if so will give you a call; I am very de- 
sirous to be absent about three weeks, and if I can get away will see 
you on my journey. Respectfully your friend, 

A. L. Emerson. 

From George Evans. 

Gardiner, [Me.,] Aug. 19, 1830. 

Dear Sir, — I am your debtor for one or two letters upon politi- 
cal affairs, to which the pressure of my engagements professional, 
political and miscellaneous, has prevented an earlier reply. As the 

1 These were members of the Maine House of Representatives in 1830. 

2 In the Maine Senate in 1830. 

3 (1793-1878), member of Congress, and uncle of C. C, Elihu B., and Israel 
Washburn — all serving in Congress in the succeeding generation. 

4 (1778-1858), a member of Congress in succession to John Holmes, chosen 

6 Peleg Sprague. 

1916.] LETTERS TO JOHN BRAZER DAVIS, '1819-1831. 233 

election approaches, the public feeling becomes more and more 
excited. So far as I am able to judge, there have been many more 
changes in our favor, than against us since last year — and if the 
whole people could be got to the polls, we should have a very large 
majority. The greatest difficulty we have to fear is, a remissness 
and apathy in this respect. Accounts from almost every part of the 
State are encouraging. The Jackson men doubtless brag and bluster 
a good deal — they are accustomed to this mode of warfare, and 
probably have occasionally gained votes by it — but their pretence 
of great gain in Penobscot and elsewhere is unfounded. It is now 
the time to come "out with the facts relative to the Massachusetts 
claim, if you intend to do it at all. It ought pretty clearly to be 
shown, that by means of the travelling habits of the Cabinet, we 
shall be delayed in the receipt of our money, till after another Ses- 
sion — which I have no doubt is the intention of the Secretary of 
War. It is the plan of the Administration to keep as much money 
in the Treasury, until after Congress meet, as possible — to show 
as great a saving as practicable, and how much less money is spent 
now than under the last Administration. 

What is the truth of the story via New Brunswick, that the West 
Indian ports are to be opened forthwith? It ought to be exploded, 
if it is a trick, as I very much suspect. 

Our State Convention had an admirable effect, it went off well. 
So also our County Convention here. We are to have an address out 
tomorrow, which I think will fall like a bomb into the enemy's camp. 
It will make a devil of an uproar somewhere. Depend upon it, we 
are not idle — everything that can be done, will be done, and 
Maine will be saved. Very truly Your friend and ob't Serv't, 

Geo. Evans. 

From R. H. Chinn to A. H. Everett, N. Hale, and J. B. Davis. 

Lex[ington,] Ky. August 27. 1830. 

Gentlemen, — The circular which you were pleased to address 
to Colonel Quarles has been handed to me by him with the request 
that I as a member of the Committee of Correspondence would at- 
tend to its contents. The East will be met by the West in a most 
hearty co-operation of all fair and honorable means for the attainment 
of the objects proposed by you. In these degenerate days the ordi- 
nary channels of information are not to be relied upon and the plan 
suggested therefore becomes necessary. Without any gile I do de- 
clare my entire conviction that Ohio, Kentucky, Indiana, Illinois, 
Missouri and Louisiana will give an undivided support to Mr. Clay. 
Beyond all other indications that have manifested themselves there 


is one which is observable to all who have passed through the valley 
of the Mississippi. That Hurra-spirit of Jacksonism, so powerful in 
its operation upon vulgar minds and which spread its poisonous 
breath over these United States, hath fled, and we hope forever. 

Love of consistency induces many yet to adhere to an administra- 
tion and a party whom they would had never existed, but their ad- 
herence is of the silent and inactive order and which does most gen- 
erally precede a [c]hange. 

There is one subject of interest in which Mr. Clay's friends here 
would be pleased to have your advice at this time. At our succeed- 
ing general assembly a Senator for Congress is to be chosen. 1 Ought 
Mr. Clay to be elected? It is a question about which there is much 
diversity of opinion here. It is not doubted but that he could be 
returned by a handsome majority. It would produce no disaffection 
amongst his friends here. He has no rival, and would have no com- 
petitor even in silence. Whether the effect would be salutary 
throughout the nation is the question. Whether he could serve the 
party best in or out of Congress? I doubt not he would be inclined 
to pursue the advice of his friends upon this subject. 

We suggest to you the propriety of disseminating your circulars 
throughout the towns and villages in the West generally. From such 
individuals it presents itself in a more imposing character than any 
thing which might be originated at home. If it be necessary we 
could furnish you with the names of individuals who might be 
profitably addressed. Be pleased hereafter to address your communi- 
cations to Robert Wickliffe Esqr. Counsellor at Law, Lexington, 
Kentucky, who is the chairman of our Committee of Correspondence. 
Very Resp'y Your friend, 

R. H. Chinn. 

From Solomon Lincoln, Jr. 2 

HlNGHAM, Oct. I, 1830. 

My dear Sir, — The politics of Plymouth County and Congres- 
sional district begin to assume an interesting aspect, and present in- 
dications are that we shall soon have a new and I trust a better state 
of things among us. The declination of Mr. Richardson 3 agreeably 
to his fixed determination, months ago, has opened the electioneer- 
ing campaign full early for the harmony of the district. I have 
thought it might not be uninteresting to you to know some thing of 
our hopes and prospects at the ensuing congressional election, and 

1 In place of John Rowan (1 773-1853). Clay was chosen in succession. 

2 (1804-1881). See 1 Proceedings, xix. 381. 
8 Joseph Richardson (17 78-1871). 

IQi6.] LETTERS TO JOHN BRAZER DAVIS, 1819-1831. 235 

of the views of those who, having acted with you, are desirous that 
the Patriot should be advised of our arrangements. 

The project of sending Mr. Adams to Congress is not "children's 
play" but was thought of and considered well, before the Courier 
prematurely announced his name for the office. 1 We think him a 
good rallying point for those who wish to throw off the incubus of 
Jacksonism, to send an able man to Congress, and at the same time 
to compliment an abused patriot. With our federalism of the old- 
fashioned kind, clannish, selfish, and monopolising, with our old- 
fashioned republicanism, mingled with Jacksonism, with our anti- 
tariff and anti-Masonic parties to season the medley, we have in the 
Old Colony but little hope of being able to bring any of our politicians 
who have had much to do with parties recently, into the field for 
Congress, who can succeed. High above all our local prejudice and 
quarrels, free from our clannish and partisan politics stands Mr. 
Adams; and under his banner we are willing to meet. 

But as there is no organisation of such a party in the County as 
will support Mr. Adams, our intention is to go to the old-fashioned 
Halifax caucus, and purify it by nominating Mr. Adams. We think, 
unless we are very much outgeneralled by our Jacksonians, [to] carry 
him there, and if we do not we shall secede and make a separate 
nomination, and appeal to the people. We have heard from many 
very respectable gentlemen in various parts of the County who con- 
cur with us in the opinion that Mr. Adams is the only man we can 
choose, and that it is desirable to give him a good democratic nomina- 
tion to start with. Mr. Aaron Hobart 2 will have the favours of the 
Jacksonians. [Joseph E.] Sprague is not republican enough for them ! 
Sprague goes with us. In these views all our leading republicans in 
Hingham coincide, and among others we have heard from Hon. Seth 
Sprague, Jr., Hon. Josiah Robbins, Jacob H. Loud Esq., 3 Artemas 
Hale, 4 Esq. of Bridgewater, Col. Southworth of N. Bridgewater, 
Micah Pool Esq. of Abington, Daniel Spear Esq. of Quincy, Amon 
Robbins Esq. and Edward F. Jacobs Esq. of Scituate, Col. J. B. 
Barstow 5 of Hanover, James C. Doane 6 Esq. of Cohasset and others 
who fully approve of sending Mr. Adams to Congress and who will 
lend their aid for his support. 

Col. J. B. Turner, a fellow candidate with myself last Spring, and 

1 Adams, Memoirs, vm. 238, et seq. 

2 ( 1 787-1858). See Historical Catalogue of Brown University, 97. 

3 Jacob Hersey Loud (1 802-1 880). See Historical Catalogue of Brown Univer- 
sity, 135. 

4 Artemas Hale (1 783-1864) served in Congress in succession to I. C. Bates. 
6 John Burden Barstow (d. 1854). 

6 James Cutler Doane, a shipmaster of Cohasset. 


a leader in the Anti-Masonic party, has this moment said to me that 
he will do all he can for Mr. Adams. 

The only suggestion which has occasioned any embarrassment 
is, whether Mr. Adams would accept if chosen. On this subject — 
I have no reason to doubt. 

Mr. Adams will not be a candidate against any individual regularly 
nominated who thinks with him on National Politics, he will not be 
a candidate if the probability is, that he would receive a small vote, 
he will not be a candidate {avowed) of any party, but if handsomely 
chosen he will accept. 

I have had no interview with him nor am I authorised to say that 
any one else has, but I am led to believe the facts are as above rep- 
resented. I also learn that Mr. Everett thinks from a conversation 
had with him that he would not decline. These are all the facts thus 
far developed, and you may be assured that there is a settled deter- 
mination to support Mr. Adams, let the result of caucus nominations 
be what they may. 

Should we not be able to give Mr. A. a fair nomination at Halifax, 
he will be announced as the people's candidate, and we hope to carry 
him against every competitor. I also learn that Weston and others 
of our " Nationals" approve of Mr. Adams as a candidate. 

I wished to put you in possession of these facts that you may 
understand the movements in the district. 

Among candidates mentioned in the District in case Mr. Adams 
should not be a candidate the following have been mentioned under 
the following heads: 

Republican Federal Jacksonian 
Seth Sprague, Jr. William Baylies x 
Aaron Hobart 


Jacksonian Zechariah Eddy 

Peter H. Pierce Christopher Webb 2 

Aaron Hobart Nathan Laselle, Jr. 

John B. Turner and a great 

National many others. 

Thomas P. Beal 
Nath'l M. Davis 

This letter should be placed in your "receptacle of things lost 
upon earth." You will of course consider it as confidential, and 
help us if you can consistently. I am very respectfully Your friend, 

Solomon Lincoln, Jr. 

1 William Baylies (1776-1865). Historical Catalogue of Brown University, 81. 
3 Christopher Webb (1 781-1848), of Weymouth. 

1916.] LETTERS TO JOHN BRAZER DAVIS, 1819-1831. 237 

From Solomon Lincoln, Jr. 

HlNGHAM, Oct. 6, 1830. 

Sir, — I am requested by the Republican Committee of Plymouth, 
the wishes of a majority of whom are expressed within, to ask you 
to publish in the Patriot of Saturday next the enclosed notice. It was 
originally contemplated to have the meeting on Thursday 14th 
October, and perhaps a circular to that effect may have been sent to 
you for publication, if so we wish that notice not to be published, 
and if it should be in your paper before you receive this letter dis- 
continue it, notice the alteration, and publish the enclosed. The 
other members of the Committee will unquestionably approve of 
the alteration, when they learn the reasons which led to it. 

Our object is simply this to have the earliest convention in the 
County and to purify our democracy of all its sins by endeavouring 
to give a handsome nomination to 

John Quincy Adams. 

These letters should be placed in your private bureau. Very respect- 
fully yours, etc. 

Solomon Lincoln, Jr. 

HlNGHAM Oct. 6, 1830. 

Hon. S. Lincoln jr. Dear Sir, 

Since we left Plymouth at the beginning of the week, circumstances have arisen 
which render it necessary that the Caucus should be on Tuesday the 12 th in- 
stead of Thursday the 14th. We were two of the Committee, and having learned 
that Mr. Robbins who is in Boston is of the same opinion, you are requested to 
see that the Notices in the Newspapers are corrected accordingly. 1 Yours 

Jacob H. Loud 
Wm. P. Ripley. 

From Solomon Lincoln, Jr. 

HlNGHAM, Oct. 13, 1830. 

Sir, — I enclose the proceedings of the Republican Convention 
at Halifax, which you are requested to publish in the Patriot. 2 

1 "The Republican citizens of Plymouth congressional District are requested 

to meet in Convention at Pope's Hotel, in Halifax, on Tuesday, the 12th of Oct. 

• Inst, at 10 o'clock a. m. to select a Candidate to represent this District in the 2 2d 

Congress." The National Republican notice called for a meeting at the same 

place on the 13th. 

2 Printed in the Boston Patriot, October 16, 1830. See Adams, Memoirs, vm. 


I have also enclosed a sketch of the proceedings of the Conven- 
tion for publication if you please, on Saturday. The facts stated in 
it should be known and will guard against misrepresentation. You 
will perceive that we have dissolved partnerships with the Jack- 
sonians. 1 

Mr. Adams was nominated to day with great unanimity at the 
National Republican Convention. 

If you think it advisable to condense the statement which I send 
you, you will of course feel at liberty so to do and oblige your friend, 

Solomon Lincoln, Jr. 

From Abbott Lawrence. 

[October 20, 1830.] 

My dear Sir, — I think we should do well to have 200 more or 
perhaps 400 more of Appleton's Speech, for further distribution. I 
have written to Wm. P. Mason to send you an article tomorrow. 
Everett will send you something if you will call upon him. So will 
Blake. Some of the Committee should call upon Sturgiss. Fuller is 
at Cambridge and has not done it — it is very important. Colonel 
Perkins is not to be found. Will you drum up the Committee and 
look to this — before dinner. Yours truly, 

Abbott Lawrence. 

From Daniel Wells. 2 

Greenfield, Mass., April 3, 1831. 

Dear Sir, — I received your letter late on the evening of Monday 
and was under engagements which rendered it necessary to leave 
this town for Northampton early on Tuesday morning where I was 
detained during the most of the week in attendance upon Court. On 
this account as I could not attend to the business myself, I passed 
the letter and papers over to E. Alvord Esq. who distributed all of 
the papers but upon enquiry did not think best to call a meeting. 

The reasons which influenced this course were, that it could not 
be ascertained that there was any organized opposition to the re- 

1 John B. Turner was nominated, "not a Jackson man, but merely to divide 
the vote, and in the hope that the Anti-Masons, who are to meet next week, will 
vote also for Turner." lb., 243. The returns of the election, as first reported* 
were: " Twenty-two towns gave 2565 votes, of which 181 7 were for John Quincy 
Adams, 373 for Arad Thompson (Jacksonite), 279 for William Baylies (federal), 
and 96 scattering votes." lb., 245. 

2 (1 791-1854), chief justice of the Court of Common Pleas of the Common- 
wealth (1844-1854). 

1916.] LETTERS TO JOHN BRAZER DAVIS, 1819-1831. 239 

election of Governor Lincoln. We have with us considerable anti- 
masonry, but the leaders of the party are generally favourable to 
him. We are also threatened with a workingmen's party, which ap- 
pears somewhat formidable, and which if it ever acquire consistency 
may be, probably will be opposed to him. But in its incipient state 
it does not feel strong enough to appear in opposition to him, and 
indeed several of the most stirring of the [torn], from peculiar cir- 
cumstances in his favour I think you may be quiet in regard to this 
County. We shall do better I think than last year. The parties I 
have mentioned will be active in the Senatorial election but I think 
will generally cast their votes for Governor Lincoln. 

I regret that your speech on state expenditures was not earlier 
published and distributed. It is just the thing that is wanted to 
allay the spirit of discontent which has appeared to a considerable 
extent in various parts of the Commonwealth, and which is eagerly 
seized upon by the ambitious and the unprincipled to answer their 
personal ends. With much respect, Yours sincerely, 

Daniel Wells. 

From Charles Edward Forbes. 

Northampton, April 4, 183 1. 

Dear Sir, — An incident of rather an amusing character has 
grown out of the want of organization on the part of the National 
Republicans. A package of the Boston Weekly Messenger-Extra has 
been forwarded by some of our friends in Boston for distribution to 
C. P. Huntington Esquire of this place. Mr. H. is a Jackson man 
and probably would not take the deepest interest in the distribution 
of papers for his opponents. Please to see this mistake rectified for 
the future. Yours respectfully, 

C. E. Forbes. 

[Endorsed,] To Col. John B. Davis, Boston, Mass. Fav'd by Mr. Whitmarsh. 

From Abbott Lawrence. 

[May 26, 1831.] 

My dear Sir, — Mr. Webster wishes to sign our petition. I wish 
to have his name, if you do not see him please write his name. I will 
be responsible. Yours, etc., 

Abbott Lawrence. 


From Gamaliel Bradford. 1 

Boston, Aug. 25th, 183 1. 

Sir, — At a meeting of the <£.B.K. Society, which was held in this 
City on Thursday the nth inst., 2 the report of a committee (ap- 
pointed at a special meeting, in Boston called by the President, to 
consider and report, if any amendments were necessary in the Con- 
stitution and Laws of the Society) was taken into consideration. 
The third article of that Report, contained a provision that the Laws 
of the Society requiring an unanimous vote for the admission of any 
member be so amended that a majority of two-thirds of the votes 
should be sufficient to admit. A motion to strike out the Article 
was lost by an even vote, thirty-two on each side. A motion to 
amend it by substituting three-quarters for two-thirds prevailed by 
a majority of thirty-eight to twenty-five; and the whole report thus 
amended was accepted. The undersigned having found that the 
result so effected is not agreeable to a numerous body of the absent 
Members, has, after consultation, with several whose names stand 
high in our ranks, taken this method of apprizing the Society gener- 
ally, that at the coming annual meeting, motion will be made to 
restore the Law regulating admissions to its ancient form, hoping 
that Members who take an interest in the subject will attend the 
meeting at an early hour, in order to settle definitively and by a 
large vote, a question which has now for some years occupied the 
time and divided the opinions of the Society. Your Obt. Servt. 

Gamaliel Bradford. 

Class of 1814. 

From George Bliss. 3 

Springfield, Octo. 12, 1831. 

Dear Sir, — I have certain information that Mr. Lathrop 4 has 
accepted the nomination of the antimasons, and has written them 
a letter which they will not dare to publish. He decidedly con- 
demns their proscriptive system, and their denunciation of Clay, 
avows himself the fast friend of Mr. C. and pledges his influence to 
his support. He commends the political course of Governor Lincoln, 
and quotes the most striking passages of the letter of Governor 

1 (1 795-1839). See Proceedings, xlvii. 359. 

2 Catalogue of the Harvard Chapter of Phi Beta Kappa (191 2), 152. 

3 (1793-1873). 

4 Samuel Lathrop (1 771-1846), who had run for Governor in 1824, against 
William Eustis. He served four terms in Congress, and was State Senator for 
ten years. An account of the Anti-masonic Party in Massachusetts is in Mc- 
Carthy's essay in American Historical Association Report, 1902, 1. 515. 

1916.] LETTERS TO JOHN BRAZER DAVIS, 1819-1831. 24 1 

Lincoln] to the antimasons as expressing his views entirely, and 
says he will not be the candidate of a party. 

From this state of facts, I have no doubt Mr. L[athrop] is to be 
run as a candidate of a religious party, united with the Antimasons 
and that he will be supported by those who differ from Governor 
L[incoln] on religious grounds. 

I tho't it might be important to the friends of Governor L[incoln] 
to have early advice of this result. Make the most of the information, 
but do not expose me — bearing in mind that the last suggestion is 
conjectural, the other fact. In haste your friend, 

Geo. Bliss. 

From Emory Washburn. 1 

Worcester, Oct. 27, 183 1. 

Dear Sir, — Yours of the 2 2d came to hand yesterday. 

In reply I am sorry to state that altho there is a good state of 
feeling among the friends and political supporters of Governor 
Lincoln and a strong wish that he may be re-elected, there is very 
little action in concert upon the subject. There is the same indis- 
position to engage in conflict and collision among them, that there 
always is among men who, conscious of honorable motives in them- 
selves and in the enjoyment of what they esteem most desirable, 
are indisposed to suspect others of different motives and will hardly 
be persuaded to use efforts to convince people of what seems too 
obvious to need argument or persuasion. 

There has not been, moreover, any organization of the National 
Republican Party in this County. The Chairman of the County 
Committee was for some reason selected from a remote part of the 
County and tho the regular annual convention for nominating 
State and County officers was duly called and held, no central com- 
mittee was chosen and Mr. Hastings is too remote to lend any effi- 
cient aid in promoting the election. I have occasionally contributed 
articles for our papers here, and the same has been done by others. 
But what is everybody's business, you know, is scarcely ever done, 
and this has been true in this County in regard to this election. 

It was not, of course, my business to take the management of 
this affair into my hands, as I am both by inclination and private 
engagements hors-du-combat as a politician. But the interest I feel 
in the election of Governor Lincoln, and in sustaining that system 
of policy which he has always pursued, induces me very cheerfully 
to avail myself of the opportunity which you have presented by 
your letter, to make the communications that I do, and to suggest 

1 (1800-1877). See 1 Proceedings, xvn. 23. 


to you that it is expedient to appoint a Central Committee for this 
County. If such a measure were taken by the State Committee I 
think an organization might yet be effected in the County and much 
might thereby be done. There is moral and physical power enough 
to carry through this election successfully if it can only be put in 
motion, and I hope your committee will lend its aid in giving the 
necessary impulse. 

It may seem indecorous in me to nominate individuals to act as 
our Central Committee, should you think proper to appoint one, 
but you will pardon me for suggesting the names of the Hon. John 
Davis, 1 Otis Corbett, 2 Esq., George T. Rice 3 and Thomas Kinnicutt, 4 
Esq., who together with the present chairman Wm. S. Hastings 
would constitute an efficient committee. I have not consulted Mr. 
Davis but I have little doubt that if you were to address a com- 
munication to him it would be attended to. Very respectfully 
Your obt. servt., 

Emory Washburn. 

From Caleb Rice. 

W. Springfield, Oct. 27, 1831. 

Dear Sir, — Yours under date of the 2 2d Inst, is just received. 
I think it highly necessary that exertions should be made to ensure 
the re-election of Governor Lincoln, still I cannot believe at this 
time the Anti-masons can muster votes enough to prevent a choice 
by the people. We shall not probably have in this County more 
than 300 A: masonic votes, altho we shall have a strong Jackson 
vote and probably no choice for Senators. The course Mr. Lathrop 
has taken with the Anti-masons has very much disaffected his former 
political friends and will very much stimulate them in favour of 
Mr. Lincoln. Perhaps a short account will not be without its use. 
When Mr. L. was first addressed by the A: Masonic Committee at 
Boston he prepared an answer which was seen and read by several 
of his friends here, and was such an answer as they believed would 
not satisfy the Committee. It was rather severe not only against 
Masons but Anti-Masons as political parties. It was suggested to 
him that if he was put in nomination after receiving that letter, the 
Committee would not publish his answer to them as they had done 
Mr. Wirt's. He then told some gentlemen they should have a copy 

1 (178 7-1 854), of Worcester. 

2 {d. 1868). He was a member of the State House of Representatives for seven 
years, from 1825-1835. 

3 George Tilly Rice. 

4 (1 799-1858). Historical Catalogue of Brown University, 135. 

igi6.] LETTERS TO JOHN BRAZER DAVIS, 1819-1831. 243 

for the press if they wished. He has since been called upon for the 
copy and now declines giving it. This course has very much dis- 
affected his friends at Springfield and will effect his votes in this 
County; you may probably see more of this subject in print. I think 
it would be well that the several County Committees should write 
some one or more of the leading gentlemen in each town and by that 
means diffuse a little spirit and energy thro the whole body. I am 
in the midst of Jacksonism but hope we shall be able to hold way 
with them. Any other or different organization to ensure success, I 
will cheerfully approve and aid all in my power. I shall be pleased 
to hear from you on all occasions. Very respectfully yours etc. 

C. Rice. 

From Samuel Bowles. 1 

Springfield, Oct. 27th, [1831.] 

Dear Sir, — We have now ascertained that the letter which Mr. 
Lathrop wrote to the Anti-Masonic Committee, in which he en- 
tirely coincided with Governor Lincoln's views of Masonry and 
Anti-Masonry, and in which he avowed his long held preference for 
Mr. Clay for the Presidency, has been withdrawn, and will not be 
published, although he agreed with me and others that it should be 
published. Another letter of trifling purport has been substituted, 
which it is said will be published in the Boston Free Press, when they 
are ready to do it. Thus by silently consenting to be the candidate 
of the Anti-Masonic party, in the vain hope of office, he has placed 
himself in an unpleasant dilemma, and he shows it. We are disap- 
pointed and mortified at the course he has taken; but it will operate 
most to his injury. 

You are at liberty to make such use of this information as you 
think proper, considering my name as confidential. Yours very 

Samuel Bowles. 

From Charles Edward Forbes. 

Northampton, Oct. 28, 183 1. 

Dear Sir, — Your circular of the 2 2d inst. has been received. 

There is no doubt, as is suggested, that a large majority in this 
County at least are National Republicans, but that a majority will 
vote for Governor Lincoln after the experience of the last election, 
is hardly to be anticipated. There are causes which operate against 

1 (1797-1851). The weekly Springfield Republican was established in 1824. 


the Governor here, which do not seem to be of so much influence in 
other sections of the State. 

And these causes are not of a political character. The political 
course pursued for some years past is believed to be generally ac- 
ceptable. The objections to him are rather sectarian than political. 

This state of things is, undoubtedly, to be regretted by liberal 
minds in all sects. Such, however, is unquestionably the fact. 
The organization of the party is certainly very imperfect, if it can 
be said to exist at all. Until the receipt of your circular I did not 
know that there was even a central committee. Would it not be 
expedient for that Committee to appoint County Committees, if it 
has not been done, and for the County Committees to appoint Com- 
mittees in the several towns in their respective counties? I am sat- 
isfied that a perfect organization of the party is becoming every day 
more necessary. Perhaps this cannot be done effectually before the 
next election — but that is no reason why it should not be done as 
soon as is practicable. In the meantime you may rest assured that 
the friends of the Governor in this place are neither indifferent nor 
lukewarm. They will give him such support at the approaching 
election as is within their power. Yours respectfully, 

C. E. Forbes. 

From William S. Hastings. 

Mendon, Oct. 29, 183 1. 

Dear Sir, — On my return from Boston yesterday, I received 
yours of the 2 2d inst. recommending a more efficient organization 
of the National Republicans of this County with a view to the ap- 
proaching election of Governor. Justice to ourselves and to Gov- 
ernor Lincoln undoubtedly requires that every man, who regards the 
honor or welfare of the Commonwealth, should be summoned to the 
Polls. With a full expression of public sentiment at the approaching 
election, the re-election of Governor Lincoln will be carried by a 
large majority. Whenever the electors of Worcester County have 
been called to the polls by any serious attempt to defeat the elec- 
tion of Governor Lincoln, they have given a cordial and strong sup- 
port to her favourite son, and the appearance of a third candidate in 
the field will only serve as a signal to them to rally round a tried 
and faithful public servant. Neither sectarian zeal, nor old political 
prejudices, nor the unreasonable requisitions and proscriptive spirit 
of anti-Masonry combined can corrupt the Heart of the Common- 
wealth. The arts of the Jacksonians have been found unavailing, 
and a reform of the political condition of the County they now con- 
sider as hopeless. 

1916.] LETTERS TO JOHN BRAZER DAVIS, 1819-1831. 245 

Some of the most distinguished and enlightened anti-masons of 
this County regret that Mr. Lathrop has been nominated. They 
consider his nomination as unfortunate both for their party and for 
the State, as Governor Lincoln is probably as much an Anti-Mason 
as Mr. Lathrop, and has this advantage over Mr. Lathrop, that he is 
familiar with the administration of the government and is deservedly 
as popular a Governor as we can ever expect to see in the chair of 
state. Governor Lincoln received the cordial support of the anti- 
rnasons last spring and what has he since done to forfeit their esteem 
and confidence? Nothing whatever, except his refusal to proscribe 
every member of the Masonic institution, whatever his talents, 
character or ability to promote the public weal. But the people of 
this State are not prepared for such a sweeping proscription of any 
class of citizens; much less to put down at the ballot box every tried 
and faithful public servant, who will not pledge his official influence 
to such indiscriminate proscription. 

The expediency if not the necessity, of redoubled efforts to bring 
out the voters at the coming election, is very apparent, as upon the 
next election will depend in some measure the question, whether the 
antimasons will in future act as a distinct party in the election of 
Governor. I know not what better course could be adopted in this 
County, than for the Central Committee to address a circular to 
gentlemen in the several towns in the County, urging them to take 
all proper measures to rally the electors to the polls, suggesting the 
importance of the election and the necessity of extraordinary exer- 
tions and appealing to their sense of duty as good citizens, etc. This 
circular might be addressed to such gentlemen as are known to be 
friendly to the election of Gov. L. by the Committee — or forwarded 
to me or some gentleman in the County, who would distribute them. 
If done, it should be done immediately. If this course should not 
be approved, I will use my exertions in any other way which may be 
thought advisable, and should be glad to hear from you as soon as 
possible. If you wish to send any circulars or other documents to 
me, you can send them from the U. S. Insurance Office in State St. 
every other day. Very Respectfully Your Obt. Servt., 

Wm. S. Hastings. 

From Asahel Huntington. 1 

Salem, Oct. 29, 1831. 

Dear Sir, — I was in Boston yesterday, and intended to call on 
you, but other engagements prevented. I was present at our Con- 

1 (1 798-1 870). Hist. Coll. Essex Institute, xi. 81. 


vention the other day at Ipswich, and I thought from all I could 
gather, that there was a good spirit abroad in the County. We 
shall do our best here for Governor Lincoln. If the Anti-Masons 
make any calculations upon Mr. Lathrop's orthodoxy, I think the 
event will show them to be mistaken, at least, in this quarter; and 
I do not believe that in any part of the Commonwealth many ballots 
will be cast upon such considerations. As to the Antimasonic op- 
position, as such, I believe it will be nearly or quite neutralized by 
the increased activity of those who feel themselves most aggrieved 
by it. I mean, the Masons. The nomination of Lathrop has pro- 
duced a good deal of feeling among them, and they are determined 
that Governor Lincoln shall surfer no harm for the manly and hon- 
ourable course, which he has seen fit to pursue. While I have no 
doubt of a most decided triumph, I would say or do nothing to slacken 
exertion on the part of our friends. We shall give Lincoln a great 
vote in this County. The election in the North District will bring 
out all the voters. The State Address is a capital one, and must pro- 
duce good effects. It ought to be published in every Republican 
newspaper in the Commonwealth. You may depend upon it, that 
Essex will do her duty. Yours, very respectfully, 

A. Huntington. 

From George Bliss. 

Springfield, Octo. 30th, 1831. 

Dear Sir, — I much regret that I did not see you on a hasty visit 
to Boston last week. I could not anticipate the condition in which 
I find our election concerns now. Mr. Lathrop has withdrawn the 
letter of which I wrote to you, and given Dr. Phelps 1 another more 
acceptable. And he declines now giving a copy of the first or letting 
it be seen. The last of course will not be published till it is too late 
to expose Mr. L. and publish the substance of the first. In this view 
of the subject, we have called a County meeting for Tuesday even- 
ing, to consider the propriety of publishing a state of facts, very early 
after which I trust the publick will be put in possession of the history 
of this affair, and if so it must and will be scattered to every corner 
of the State by handbills and the papers. I do not fear the result, 
if we can have time. In the meanwhile I think the papers ought to 
have no delicacy in stating such facts as they have. So far as I have 
them they are shortly these. Some weeks since Mr. L. was written 
to by the Anti-M. Com'ee to be a candidate, and he said he gave such 
an answer as he tho't would forbid his name being bro't before the 
A.M. Convention, and he expected to hear nothing further. 

1 Abner Phelps (1779-1873). Historical Catalogue of Brown University, 541. 

igi6.] LETTERS TO JOHN BRAZER DAVIS, 1819-1831. 247 

On the evening of the 12th when I wrote to you, Judge Morris 
came into my office, and introduced the subject and said Mr. L. 
called on him that afternoon, stated his situation and shewed him 
his answer to the invitation, asked his opinion of it, and Judge M. 
told him he had no objection to it except that he called Masonry a 
dangerous institution. Judge M. then voluntarily detailed to me the 
contents of the letter. It began by stating that the Committee had 
sent him all the resolutions of their meeting closing with therefore 
voted etc. that Hon. S. L. be nominated, that by that mode of ex- 
pression he supposed his nomination was on the basis of, or in con- 
sequence of the tenor of those resolutions and he felt called upon 
to express his opinion of them. As to Masonry it was well known 
he had long been opposed to the institution, and tho't it a dangerous 
one — but he was equally opposed to Anti-Masonry, and reprobated 
the proscriptive course of its friends (giving his views more at large) 
and closing with "as Governor Lincoln has in his late letter very 
justly and most eloquently observed," then quoting two or three 
passages of that letter on this subject with approbation. As to 
Governor Lincoln's administration of the Government of the State, 
it met his entire approbation. As to the resolution approving the 
nomination of Mr. Wirt he could not assent to it, " Mr. Clay was his 
personal and political friend, and whatever so humble an individual 
as he could do to promote his election would be cheerfully done." 
My impression is he spoke of the American system in terms of strong 
approbation, and perhaps alluded to other subjects closing with 
stating that if with the avowal of those sentiments, the Com'ee still 
determined to support him he felt it to be his duty to consent. So 
much for the contents of the letter. Judge M. further said he told 
Mr. L. he did not see how the Anti-M's could support him. Mr. L. 
replied, he did not think they could — or would, I cannot say which. 
Judge M. told him they would not dare to publish the letter. Mr. L. 
said he hoped they would, he wished it to be known, had no secret 
about it, and if not published it would not be withheld. Judge M. 
said it was to be sent immediately, and remarked that Mr. L. would 
finally be the Gov'r. I replied then another class of his friends unite 
in his support. Judge M. replied you mean his religious friends. 
Yes. I do not think so, says he. I know of no such concert or de- 
termination, and think if it existed I should have known it. The 
orthodox are fully satisfied with Gov. Lincoln, alluded to his strict 
regard for the Sabbath and religious institutions, his impartiality 
on subject of Cambridge College, etc., etc. I since learn that on 
the same day Mr. L. shewed that letter to three other gentlemen of 
the bar (our Court being in session) and to one of them offered to 
let him take a copy, which he declined, and Mr. L. said he might 


have one any time. The letter was certainly mailed Thursday even- 
ing for Boston, and on Saturday of the week after Dr. Phelps came 
up in the Stage, was met here by a son of Mr. L. with his Chaise 
and taken to West Sp[ringfiel]d. I believe Dr. P. was also here a 
week before, but cannot learn certainly. But nothing was said or 
done about suppressing the letter till the past week after Dr. P. was 
last here. In meantime Mr. L. was over here, and conversed with 
some gentlemen about the letter and nomination, and said to the 
Editor of the Journal, he hoped nothing would be published about 
it till the Committee had an opportunity] to publish it. Then 
came Dr. P. and the past week the Editor of the Republican called 
on Mr. L. for the letter which he declined giving, said he had with- 
drawn it and substituted another, more general, and as I understand 
not alluding to Governor L[incoln], Mr. Wirt, Clay, or the American 
system. Judge M. also says Mr. L. told him the same thing. Thus 
I find matters on reaching home. Mr. L. has written (as I believe) 
to each of the gentlemen to whom he shewed the letter, and we have 
written them also. Two of them decline to disclose but at personal 
interviews, we expect them at the meeting Tuesday. 

I have no doubt of the facts as I state them. I vouch for those 
I give as my own, but I cannot be responsible for exact language. 
Ail you may use, except about the orthodox support etc., but at 
present wish my name not used if it can be avoided — or Judge M's. 

Can you leam whether a double letter from West Sp[ringfiel]d 
was received at the Boston office on the evening of Friday the 14th? 

The mail is waiting and I must close. Yrs. truly, 

Geo. Bliss. 

From Samuel Metcalf McKay. 1 

PlTTSFIELD, Oct. 30, 1831. 

Dear Sir, — I postponed an answer to your favour of the 22nd 
until after I had been at our County Court where I spent one day 
and night. We have recently consolidated the Argus of this place 
with the Journal of Lenox. The Editor is a decided National and 
is managing the paper well. I took it upon me to call a County 
Convention, over my own signature. We have been without 
Caucus nomination for a few years back until the last Spring when 
I called the first. 

Our friends begin to feel the necessity of the old fashioned party 
organization, the last Convention was numerously attended, and 
yet I am unable to foretell the result. There is no tangible Anti- 
masonry or old Federalism in the County, altho almost all the clergy 

1 (1793-1834). See Smith, History of Pitts field , 1800-1876, 404. 

igi6.] LETTERS TO JOHN BRAZER DAVIS, 1 8 19-183 1. 249 

and the leading men in church affairs are anti-masons at heart. I 
find among our friends a few masons agrieved by Lincoln's letter. I 
do not believe they will go against him tho' they grumble sadly. 

The great difficulty with us, is on the score of our expenditures. 
The Jacksonites so shamelessly charge upon us the squandering of 
the public money that the people half believe them. 

Your speech the last Spring on retrenchment was one of the best 
things that occurred during the canvass. It helped me much in this 
Town. The address from our County Convention is on the same 
plan this fall and will aid us. If we do not disabuse the people on 
this head they will vote against us. I hear little said of Lathrop and 
yet I shall not think it strange if Federalism, Anti-masonry and 
orthodoxy combined should get him a considerable vote. The 
nomination of Wirt, whose activity in some religious affairs has made 
him popular of late, with the zealous, will afford some support to 
Mr. L. I hope we shall give a good account of ourselves at the polls. 
"We will try." 

I have said more than I should from an apprehension that we 
are not safe and that the party ought, without fail, to make every 

By the way I have been told that in your paper you have para- 
graphed me as the only "anti-mason from Massachusetts who will 
go to Baltimore," etc. This was wrong. I regret to see that my early 
predictions upon anti-masonry are fast being realized, not that I 
feel any interest in, or desire that Masonry should be continued. I 
well recollect in a conversation with you some years since at Mr. 
Secretary Bangs house, I did not hesitate to say to you, that I saw 
in the disclosures of Masonic secrets, the elements of tremendous 
popular excitement and that if the people once heard and believed 
them, the contagion would spread. It has done so. It will con- 
tinue to spread until the lodge-charters are surrendered. You will 
understand that any extensive excitement under our government, 
will be turned to political account if possible. While I have disap- 
proved of making anti-masonry an engine of political power, I have 
never concealed my opinion of its strength or efficiency. These are 
my views of anti-masonry in Massachusetts; where I see nothing 
which I would revolutionize. I ask no general reform or political 
revolution, and desire no general excitement of the people for political 

In New York I meet with a different state of things and I tell you 
frankly that if anti-masonry shall prostrate the regency there, (and 
their days are numbered) I shall rejoice at it. Nor do I believe 
that the slang phrase " jubelo" etc. "or cable tow," etc. is any less 
dignified than the hurras for Jackson were, by which Mr. Adams 


was overthrown. I did not think to give you so full a confession of 
faith, but since it is written I hope you will excuse me. 

Send me any thing to aid the election of Lincoln and I will exert 
myself to meet your wishes. Meanwhile if I have made myself 
understood, you will perceive that I think we are not quite safe 
in the State. In this County we have had a majority against you 
now for the two last years. I remain respectfully Your obedient 

S. M. McKay. 

From Samuel Bowles. 

Springfield, Nov. i, 1831. 

Dear Sir, — Yours of the 29th was received last evening, too late 
to answer by return mail. I am not certain whether you mean that 
the mere fact of Mr.Lathrop's withdrawal of his letter, or the contents 
of it, which you think ought to be known at once. But we are en- 
gaged in endeavoring to make known both facts; but are likely to be 
defeated in obtaining an abstract of the letter from either of the 
gentlemen who read it; he having written to each of them, request- 
ing them, as we suppose, not to do it. I will state you a few facts 
within my own personal knowledge. On the 17th Oct. I had a con- 
versation with Mr. Lathrop, in which he requested me to refrain 
for a few days, from speaking of the contents of his letter; adding 
that it would probably soon appear in the Boston Anti-Masonic 
paper; but if it did not, he would furnish a copy to be published here. 
The same language he held to those gentlemen who had read the 
letter. In this letter, it was said by those who saw it, he went even 
farther than Gov. Lincoln in condemning Masonry and Anti- 
Masonry, and said he should do all he could to promote the election 
of Henry Clay. On the 20th October I waited on Mr. L. and told 
him the friends of Governor Lincoln were concerned about his 
nomination, and wished to have his letter published here; the prompt 
publication of which I believed would satisfy them. My object was 
to obtain a copy for publication. But to my astonishment, he said 
it was withdrawn, and would not be published. He read me a short 
letter, which he said would be published as a substitute. He men- 
tioned some circumstances to me, in confidence, in relation to the 
withdrawal, and his acceptance of the nomination; but I do not 
deem them of much importance. I then ascertained from other 
sources that Dr. Abner Phelps had been at his house the Saturday 
previous; consequently was at no loss to account for the withdrawal 
of the letter and Mr. Lathrop's new position in the affair. He ap- 
peared confused, said he had no idea of being chosen, and hoped he 

igi6.] ' LETTERS TO JOHN BRAZER DAVIS, 1819-1831. 25 1 

should not be voted for, said he was willing I should say, what he 
had declared to several gentlemen in Springfield, that he entirely 
approved of Governor Lincoln's letter to the Anti-Masonic com- 
mittee, and thought it one of the best things the Governor ever 
wrote. He also said I might publish that he was the friend of Henry 

Mr. Lathrop, in thus inconsistently throwing himself into the 
hands of a party opposed to Mr. Clay and Governor Lincoln, has 
caused no small indignation even among his old and best friends. 
A county meeting is called, to be held here this evening, to take some 
steps on the subject, the proceedings of which you will see in my 
next paper. I went to West Springfield and Westfield yesterday and 
conversed with Mr. Fowler and several other gentlemen ; and hope 
we shall have a good meeting. We shall do what we can for Gov- 
ernor Lincoln and the National Republican cause. 

This letter, you understand, must not be published in its present 
shape, although you are at liberty to avail yourself of the facts con- 
tained in it, as you may think expedient. 1 Would it not be better to 
let Mr. Lathrop pass as the unqualified candidate of the Anti- 
Masonic party, and not urge his sentiments in contradiction from 
that ground? Yours very respectfully, 

Samuel Bowles. 

It is probable that Mr. Lathrop is disaffected towards Gov. 
Lincoln, in consequence of not getting the appointment of Sheriff 
of this county. 

From Thomas French. 

Canton, Nov'r 2, 1831. 

Dear Sir, — Your favour under date of 22nd postmark'd 26, 
was rec'd by me on the 29 Ult. Ill health prevented me from return- 
ing an answer by the next mail. There is a good spirit prevailing in 
this County I have no doubt, and so far as regards Gov'r Lincoln, I 
feel confident of success, of the result of the Senatorial election noth- 
ing can be determined [with] certainty. The Anties in our vicinity, 
and [we] are cursed with a superabundance of them, will generally 
vote for Governor Lincoln; for Senators they will be divided. If the 
statement in your paper of today, concerning the management of 
Mr. Lathrop be correct, and his first letter to the Anties cannot be 
had, send to Springfield for the Deposition of the gentleman to whom 
you refer, and let that be publish'd, and draw upon me for any 
reasonable proportion of the expense, "There is something rotten 

1 See Boston Daily Advertiser, November 7, 1831. 


in the state of Denmark" and we shall depend upon the Central 
Committee to bring to light this nefarious business. I am Sir very 
respectfully your obt. Servt., 

T. French. 

From George Lunt. 1 

Newburyport, 3 Nov'r, 1831. 

Dear Sir, — Yours came to hand in due season : it arrived how- 
ever at a moment when I was very busily occupied upon matters 
connected with the political condition of the County; and these, 
together with other affairs of similar moment have so engrossed my 
leisure since, as to afford some sort of apology for not answering yours 
in better season. Excuse me, therefore, and believe that my neglect 
was not occasioned by want of interest in the matter at stake, or 
because I had not in fact reflected upon it for some time with a great 
deal of anxiety. But Mr. Lincoln has nothing to fear in our County. 
It is beyond question that Mr. Lathrop will get here something of 
a vote; the Antimasons, of course, many of the old Federalists, and 
I should not be surprised if the situation of our Congressional affairs 
should in some degree influence the vote in Newburyport and its im- 
mediate vicinity, against the Governor — why, it would perhaps 
be difficult enough precisely to settle — but they have heard that 
the Governor holds Gushing 2 in just dislike; and some of them are so 
violent and unreasonable that they would not spare a dog which had 
barked at Cushing's heels. This amiable spirit, however, I am happy 
to say, does not prevail to any considerable extent, and probably, 
indeed I may say, certainly, will influence only those, who are under 
the dominion already of other hostile feelings sufficient to account 
for their opposition. There is, you may rest assured, no doubt of a 
fair majority for Mr. Lincoln in Essex; and you may rest equally 
assured that his friends will by no means be backward in zeal, hearti- 
ness, activity and resolution. 

Wishing all success to the cause, I remain, dear sir, Resp'y and 
truly yours, 

George Lunt. 

From George Lunt. 

Newburyport, 5 Nov'r, 1831. 

Dear Sir, — Your packages came safe to hand last ev'g, and I 
have taken care to see the papers distributed with our paper of this 

1 (1803-1885). 

2 Caleb Cushing (1800-1879), at this time in Europe. 

1916.] LETTERS TO JOHN BRAZER DAVIS, 1819-1831. 253 

morning, so that they will have the best possible circulation. No 
doubt they will do good. 

I write you a word now, however, to ask (almost to claim) a 
favor, which if granted will unquestionably be attended with highly 
beneficial effects upon us and the general good, and which can be 
productive of not the slightest loss to you. It is that you take into 
the Patriot columns the "Address," published in this day's Newbury 
Port Advertiser, of our meeting at Andover. 1 Here is the state of the 
case. Gushing has lost the two last times. His cause is no doubt 
declining. Kittredge has gained handsomely upon him. He will no 
doubt either outstrip or at least come very near him this time. But 
we need everything which can be had to encourage us and to bring 
out our really effective forces. If we could secure all the new voters 
who will unquestionably come out this time (I mean those who 
have not been yet much interested in our Congressional affairs but 
who count upon voting for Governor) Dr. Kittredge would be 
elected at the coming ballot. But to effect a handsome relative gain 
for him this time will settle the matter decisively and (what you will 
consider of no little consequence) this is the only way in which the 
breach of the National Republican party in our district ever can be 
repaired. Otherwise they must continue and moreover will con- 
tinue to fight, until in all probability they dwindle in the Jackson 
ranks. Help us then to remedy the difficulty by the only means in 
our power. We are springing to the work. Any external influence, 
of the kind I ask from you will no doubt have much effect in suitably 
impressing many people who have heretofore voted for Cushing, 
but who are tired of his contest and only want some such new motive 
or impulse to induce them to vote for Kittredge. The merest straw 
will often turn such people but seeing the Address in your paper 
would have much effect. It would also, unquestionably, sway the 
minds of many who have not yet voted on the question. If the aid 
of the Boston papers had originally been afforded us, we should not 
now be struggling as we are — and really it was and is a matter in 
which they are as much interested as we are and which they should 
have discussed as freely. 

I pray you to insert the Address, etc., as I request. It will advance 
our prospects. It can do your establishment no sort of injury, tout 
au contraire, much good always comes from doing what we ought 
to do — excuse my plainness, and believe me, my dear Sir, Resp'y 
and truly yours, 

George Lunt. 

1 It was republished in the Boston Patriot, November 8, 1831. 


From George Bliss. 

Springfield, Nov'r 6th, 1831. 

Dear Sir, — Your favor of the 4th came to hand last evening, 
and by same stage two packages of Extra Patriot which will be 
used to good account. I am obliged to go by stage this evening to 
Berkshire, and will leave them in good hands, taking a part. You 
are doubtless in possession of the proceedings of our meeting, which 
I trust will at last quiet Dr. Phelps' intended attack on me. But to 
put the matter beyond question, you are at liberty to say, that Mr. 
Lathrop was in town Friday, when Judge Morris, who is his privy 
counsellor, told him he had been informed that he, (Mr. Lathrop) 
had said, the facts stated in the Patriot were not correct. Mr. L. 
distinctly denied having disapproved of that statement and I under- 
stood agreed to their accuracy. I have no objection to your giving 
up my name. I think Dr. P. will not be able to use it for his purposes. 
And I cannot believe you will want further evidence. If you do, in 
my absence, please address Mr. Willard or John Howard or George 
Ashmun Esq. The latter drew up the Report of our meeting. I 
shall return in three days. I think some of the orthodox friends of 
Mr. L. who are not Anti-masons will vote for him, tho' there is no 
concert among them here as a party. Yours truly, 

Geo. Bliss. 

I made the same statement at the meeting, as I wrote you, and 
that letter is here called mine. 

From Nathan Brooks. 1 

Concord, Nov. 10th, 1831. 

Dear Sir, — I have no fear of Middlesex, if we can only bring 
the friends of the Administration to the poles. To effect this, an 
agent has been sent through the South and West parts of the County, 
who will be much aided by the extra sheets, which you had the good- 
ness to forward to me. I had a consultation last evening with Mr. 
Varnum, who says he will take hold in good earnest and do what he 
can. I furnished him with about 200 of your sheets, which I had 
remaining. Should have earlier sent a larger portion to him had I 
not supposed, from your first line to me, that he had been furnished. 
We intend printed votes shall be sent to most of the towns. 

Personally I cannot do much, having been confined, for the last 
week, by indisposition. Respectfully your obt. Servt., 

N. Brooks. 
1 (1785-1863). 

1916.] LETTERS TO JOHN BRAZER DAVIS, 1819-1831. 255 

From Solomon Lincoln, Jr. 

HlNGHAM, NOV. II, 1 83 1. 

My dear Sir, — We are doing all that honest and honorable men 
can to sustain Governor Lincoln. We hope to save something from 
the Anti-Masonic ranks for the support of the National Cause, so 
far as relates to Governor. The charge against the Anti-Masons of 
combining with Jackson-men has been resented by the former; 
with how much propriety you may learn from the fact that printed 
tickets have been distributed in this County bearing the names of 
Morton x and Mills 2 for Governor and Lieutenant Governor, and 
Lazell 3 and Turner 4 for Senators; and also upon the same sheet are 
printed tickets containing the names of Lincoln and Winthrop 5 for 
Governor and Lieutenant Governor, and Lazell and Turner for 
Senators — the object being evidently to offer a temptation to the 
Jacksonians to abandon their ticket for Senators, for the sake of 
Morton, and to deceive the friends of Governor Lincoln and the 
National Republican cause. Our paper has gone to press, and I wish 
you to expose so much of this trick as you may think expedient in 
tomorrow's paper for the benefit of the cause in this county. 

I will try to send you our votes on Monday by the Plymouth stage. 
We shall do all we can here — probably give Lincoln his usual ma- 
jority — although all parties will have [to] give increased votes. I 
suppose we shall send three representatives, two of whom will be 
right and one like Case and Whittemore. 6 It may however be other- 
wise. Scituate will send three our [or?] four representatives. The 
friends of Governor Lincoln there are awake and have just taken 
from our office printed votes for Representatives. 

Dr. Cushing Otis 
Edward F. Jacobs Esq. 
Peleg Jenkins Esq. 
Paul Bailey Esq. all true. 

I think they will send the three first although J. B. Turner's friends 
are straining every nerve. 7 Yours truly, 

Solomon Lincoln, Jr. 

So much in haste that I have begun my letter on the wrong side 
of the paper. 

1 Marcus Morton. 2 John Mills. 

3 Nathan Lazell, Jr. 4 John B. Turner. 

5 Thomas Lindall Winthrop. 

6 The representatives chosen from Hingham were Thomas Loring, Marshall 
Lincoln, and Nicholas B. Whitney. 

7 The first three names were returned. 


From Joseph Lyman. 

Northampton, Nov. nth, 183 1. 

Dear Sir, — I did not receive yours of the 24th ult. until the last 
evening. I have been absent from this place attending the Tariff 
Convention in New York. Your letter was received by Mrs. Lyman 
on the 26th ult. and she forwarded the same by private conveyance 
to me in New York. She paid no attention to the place of its date and 
informed me on my return that Mr. Davis of Worcester meaning the 
Hon. John Davis had written me a letter upon the subject of the 
pending election and that she had enclosed the same to me by Mr. 
Butler of New York thinking it proper that I should sound the alarm 
among the Delegates from Massachusetts there assembled. Mr. 
Butler did not deliver the letter to me as he was detained in Hartford 
on his way, but forwarded the same to me here the last evening — 
immediately on my return I wrote Mr. Davis of Worcester pledging 
myself to do everything in my power. 

We have little to fear from Anti-Masons in this little County; 
but much from a religious party or rather irreligious party calling 
themselves orthodox, and it will not be surprising if the Anti- 
Masonic Candidate should obtain as many votes as were cast for 
Heman Lincoln the last Spring, tho' the most intelligent of the 
Orthodox have expressed an opinion to me that Mr. Lathrop has 
demolished himself — they however will not be very active in setting 
their Brethren right. 

I have received communications from Hampden and Franklin Coun- 
ties favourable to our hopes and wishes. I am respectfully Your friend, 

Joseph Lyman. 

Josiah Quincy, Jr. to Ezra Davis. 

27 State Street, 16. May, 1837. 
My dear Sir,' — An instalment on your French claim became due 
yesterday and is payable at the Merchants Bank. The money as 
you are aware was imported in gold and silver at a loss of some 1 2 
per cent to the owners. And they now refuse to pay it over in any 
thing except what in their own phraseology is called "Rag money." 
I understand that some of the claimants refuse to receive it and 
protest their certificates. What course shall I pursue? Shall I take 
it or not in paper? If I take it have you any wish as it regards the 
nature of the investment you wish made? The times are so out of 
joint that I shall be happy to have the advice or directions of one 
who has had so much more experience in bad times than I have. I 
am very truly and respectfully, 

Josiah Quincy, Jr. 

i gi 6.] GIFTS TO THE SOCIETY. 257 


THE stated meeting was held on Thursday, the 9th instant, 
at three o'clock, p.m.; the President, Mr. Lodge, in 
the chair. 

The record of the last meeting was read and approved; and 
the Librarian reported the list of donors to the Library since 
the last meeting. 
The Cabinet-Keeper reported gifts as follows: 

Engraving, by John Chorley, from an original painting of Gover- 
nor John Brooks by James Frothingham, from Mr. Kellen; photo- 
graph of a rare French print of Jonathan Russell, from Miss Mary 
Rivers, of Milton; photograph of a painting of John Adams, and 
two photographs of Congress Hall and the Senate Chamber, in In- 
dependence Hall, Philadelphia, from Wilfred Jordan; medals of the 
Boston Latin School, 1828, 1829, 1830, and 183 1, the Franklin School 
medal, and the Phi Beta Kappa medal, all of Dr. Thomas Mayo 
Brewer (H. C. 1835), and seven coins, from Miss Lucy S. Brewer, 
of Brookline; and badges from the Benevolent Protective Order of 
Elks, and from the Boston Chamber of Commerce. 

The Editor reported the gift, from the children of Charles 
Deane, of his correspondence and papers on historical subjects. 
Mr. Deane's position among investigators, his long and active 
membership in this Society, from 1849 to 1889, and his many 
valuable contributions to its Proceedings and Collections, need 
not be dwelt upon. These letters show his wide historical in- 
terests, his careful investigation, and his generous aid and 
encouragement to the younger men. Hardly a name of those 
who were working in history in the United States at that period 
is wanting, and in some cases long series of letters prove how 
thoroughly he had gained the confidence of his fellow workers. 
Of particular value are his letters from Mr. Winthrop and other 
members of the Society, for they recall the great attention given 
to the interests of the Society and how its welfare was ever 
present to the minds of Deane and his associates. The collec- 


tion is a necessary part of the history of the Society and of its 
influence in encouraging the pursuit of history in the latter 
half of the last century. 

Rev. Charles Edwards Park, of Boston, was elected a Resi- 
dent Member of the Society. 

The President announced the appointment of the following 
committees, in preparation for the Annual Meeting in April: 

To nominate Officers for the ensuing year: Messrs. Charles 
P. Greenough, Frederick Winthrop, and Bliss Perry. 

To examine the Library and Cabinet: Messrs. William C. 
Endicott, Lincoln N. Kinnicutt, and Henry G. Pearson. 

To examine the Treasurer's accounts': Messrs. Harold 
Murdock and Henry H. Edes. 

The President announced the death of Frederick Lewis 
Gay, a Resident Member, which occurred in Brookline, March 
3, 1 9 1 6. Mr. Gay was elected to the Society in January, 
19 14, and in his short membership had been liberal with gifts 
and the use of his rich materials on early New England history. 
His extensive collection of seventeenth century works illus- 
trating the history of Old and New England contains unique 
features, for he specialized in certain lines, and, a keen collec- 
tor, he succeeded to an extraordinary degree in obtaining 
what was rare and necessary to his purpose. These printed 
works he supplemented by transcripts of manuscripts from the 
British Museum and Public Record Office, and of them he is- 
sued a catalogue. He also bought early American portraits. 
Of all this material he was generous, never refusing to aid and 
encourage the investigator by lending his choicest pieces and 
giving the benefit of his own wide and thorough research. 
The Society gained by his membership, and it loses an active 
and sympathetic worker in his death. 

Mr. Barrett Wendell showed an impression of the seal 
of John Paul Jones, on a letter cover addressed to John Wen- 
dell, of Portsmouth, New Hampshire. This probably contained 
a letter written from Nantes on December 11, 1777. If so, 
this impression is nearly six years earlier than that in posses- 
sion of the Naval Historical Society of New York and there 
supposed unique. The Wendell impression now belongs to 
Evert Jansen Wendell, of New York. 

Mr. Wendell proceeded to make some conjectural remarks 

^swr s p«s«f 


V &>m ^&**4vmi 

f<r>t$*W%4#H& f 

Seal and Writing of John Paul Jones 


on the probable effect of German manners at the English court, 
as one of the causes of that divergence of feeling between Eng- 
land and the American colonies which resulted in the American 
Revolution, and thus in such a disruption of the British Empire 
as might have occurred in the United States had secession 

The Cabinet-Keeper read the following letter on a portrait 
in the Cabinet of the Society: 

Boston, March 7, 1916. 

Dear Sir, — I have been interested in tracing and correctly at- 
tributing the authorship of the several portraits of Rev. Ellis Gray 
and at your request submit the result of my investigations. 

In 1878 a paper on Jonathan Blackburn, with a partial list of his 
portraits, was written by Augustus Thorndike Perkins and printed 
in the Proceedings of that year. Mr. Perkins listed two portraits 
as follows: "Ellis Gray. There are two portraits of Rev. Ellis 
Gray, of half length, representing him in his robes and bands, the 
hair without powder. Both pictures are in the possession of his 
grandchildren. One is owned by Miss Anne Gary of Chelsea, the 
other by William Ferdinand Gary, Esq., of Boston." 

At the time Mr. Perkins wrote his paper and prepared his list of 
portraits by Blackburn there was hanging in the collection of the 
Massachusetts Historical Society a portrait of Rev. Ellis Gray and 
another in the collection of the American Antiquarian Society at 

The card index of the Massachusetts Historical Society names four 
portraits of the Rev. Ellis Gray and, following the list prepared by 
Mr. Perkins, attributes them all to the hand of Blackburn. In re- 
cording four portraits of Rev. Ellis Gray the card index is correct; 
in attributing the portraits to Blackburn my conclusion is that a 
mistake was made by Mr. Perkins and his error repeated by the 
Society index and the owners of the other two portraits mentioned 
by Mr. Perkins. The portrait at the American Antiquarian Society 
has always been recorded as "Artist Unknown," it being a gift 
from William Bentley, the well-known diarist. 

Bentley says in his diary, Volume in, page 368, under date of 
June 28, 1908: "Had the pleasure of seeing at Mr. Watson's seat in 
Northfield, in company with Colonel Cushing's family, a daughter 
of Secretary Avery, who promised her influence to obtain from Mrs. 
Thayer, daughter of Revd. Jackson of Brooklyn, a painting of 
Revd, Otis Gray, one of the ministers of New Brick Church, Boston. 


Revd. Mr. Cary of Newburyport has another painting of the same 
person, both by Badger. This painting belonged to my grandfather 
and was sold for one dollar to Mr. Jackson at a public auction where 
the household goods were disposed of by Capt. Adams." Bentley 
did not make the error of referring to the minister of the New 
Brick Church, Boston, as Otis Gray, but the copyist of the 
diary is responsible for the mistake. Bentley at a later time suc- 
ceeded in getting from the Rev. Joseph Jackson of Brookline the 
portrait at one time owned by Bentley's grandfather of Rev. Ellis 
Gray and which he, Bentley, says was made by Joseph Badger, and 
the portrait now in the possession of the American Antiquarian 
Society was presented by Bentley. This locates one of the pictures, 
and fortunately for our records, it is one of the portraits mentioned 
in his diary. 

The portrait mentioned as belonging to William Ferdinand Cary, 
who was the son of Samuel and Sarah Gray Cary and the grandson 
of Rev. Ellis Gray, was left by him to Mrs. Hartman Kuhn, who 
left it to Hamilton Wilkes Cary, who left it to Mrs. R. S. Russell, 
whose mother, Mrs. Charles P. Curtis, was a Cary. I have seen the 
portrait at Mrs. Russell's house and compared it with the others. 

The portrait mentioned as belonging to Miss Anne Cary of Chel- 
sea has come down from her possession to Mrs. Russell Montague of 
White Sulphur Springs, Virginia, where it now is. 

The fourth portrait now hangs in this Society's collection, said 
to be a gift from Rev. Chandler Robbins of the Second Church, 
once called the "New Brick Church." This and the other two por- 
traits agree in every detail with the one named % Bentley as being 
by Joseph Badger, and I am therefore of the opinion that the at- 
tribution to Blackburn is an error. 

Joseph Badger at the time of Mr. Perkins's article was little 
known, and it is only within a few years that interest has been 
shown in the work of this very excellent portrait painter. No record 
of his birth or origin has thus far been found. His estate was ad- 
ministered on August 23, 1765. He had studios in Boston from 1740 
to 1765. 

Among his portraits are those of James Bowdoin belonging to 
Bowdoin College and another of the same man in the Pitts Collec- 
tion at Detroit. There are also portraits in existence of 

Timothy Orne Thomas Cushing 

Mrs. Rebecca Burrill Orne Tristram Dalton 

Dudley Leavitt Captain John Larrabee 

Mrs. Dudley Leavitt John Pitts 

Daniel Mackey Mary Leavitt 


Mrs. Daniel Mackey Alexander Savage 

Rebecca Orne Thomas Savage 

Lois Orne James Russell 

Thomas Mason John Haskins 

Mary Vial Mrs. John Haskins 

Very truly yours, 

Frank W. Bayley. 

Mr. Charles Henry Hart, a Corresponding Member, con- 
tributes the following paper on 

Peter Harrison, Architect. 

Peter Harrison, the first professional architect in America, 
was a very important eighteenth century character in New 
England about whom many biographical impossibilities have 
been recorded in print. Chief among these are the romances 
that he was a pupil of Sir John Vanbrugh and one of his assist- 
ants in the building of Blenheim Castle for the Duke of Marl- 
borough (1705-17 1 6), and also that he was one of the companions 
of Bishop Berkeley on his famous visit to Rhode Island in 
1728/29. 1 As Peter Harrison the architect was born the year 
in which Blenheim Castle was completed and had just arrived 
at the mature age of ten years when Vanbrugh died, which was 
only two years before Berkeley's voyage to this country, it will 
readily be seen of what value are these important statements 
in historical publications of repute, only a few of which are 
named in the footnote, and which have gone unquestioned until 
now. Yet, had it not been for the misstatement that Harrison 
was a companion of Berkeley, not only would the error have re- 
mained unchallenged and undetected by me, but the true and 
interesting facts of Harrison's many-sided career that have been 
unearthed would never have been dug out and recorded by my 
pen. Thus it would seem errors in published history by their 
refutation accomplish sometimes unlooked-for good. 

1 Proceedings, xn. 324; xvi. 392; Noah Porter, 200th Anniversary of the Birth- 
day of Berkeley, 35 and 67; Updike, History of Narragansett Church, n. 431; 
Mason, Annals of Redwood Library, 36; Foote, History of King's Chapel, 11. 
76 n. et seq.; Winsor, Memorial History of Boston, rv. 469, 470 n. For the bene- 
fit of those concerned I note as a warning that the "authority" last cited, and 
the same author's Critical History of America, are dangerous to use unless the 
statements are carefully verified. 


In Poulson's Daily Advertiser for September 26, 1822, printed 
in Philadelphia, there appeared the report of a case of pedigree, 
Doe, Dem. Thomas vs. Acklam, that had been tried before Ab- 
bott, C. J., at the York Assize in England on July 30 of that 
year. The proceedings were to prove that Frances Mary Lud- 
low, wife of Philip Thomas of the United States of America, was 
heiress at law of Elizabeth Harrison, spinster, who died in 
Hull, England, November 26, 1818. Mr. Sergeant Hullock 
proved for the plaintiff that Joseph Harrison had gone from 
York, England, to America and been Comptroller of the Cus- 
toms at Boston in 1775; that Peter Harrison, his youngest 
brother, followed him to America, where he died, leaving four 
children, all of whom died without issue, except Elizabeth, who 
married, at Trinity Church, Newport, October 22, 1781, James 
Ludlow, 1 of which marriage Mrs. Thomas was the only surviving 
child; that Elizabeth Harrison was the daughter and last sur- 
viving child of Joseph Harrison, the elder brother of Peter 
Harrison. An important and most interesting piece of evidence 
was a miniature of Mary Frances Ludlow (Mrs. Thomas) when 
a child, that had belonged to Elizabeth Harrison. The Lord 
Chief Justice said that "it was surprising to find a case so 
clearly made out at such a distance of time and place," 
and directed the jury to find for the plaintiff, subject to 
judgment on the question whether an alien could inherit the 
estate. 2 This cause was in litigation from 1820 to 1824, and the 
original pedigree that was used in the case is now in the possession 
of Mr. Shipley Jones, of New York City, a grandson of Mrs. 
Thomas, who has courteously allowed me to use it. So that the 
data here given concerning the Harrison family and their birth 
and death dates have the sanction of the English law courts, 
which puts them beyond question. The document is endorsed 
" Pedigree of the Parties Claiming the Property of the late Miss 
Harrison of Hull"; and the result of the litigation was to divide 
the personal property equally between the plaintiff and the 
defendant, with the real estate to the defendant, holding that 
an alien could not inherit it. 

Peter Harrison, architect, was born June 14, 17 16, and was 
the son of Thomas Harrison, Jr. (1671-1731) and Elizabeth 

1 Rhode Island Historical Magazine, vn. 285. 

2 N. E. Hist. Gen. Register, xxxv. 240. 


Denison Harrison (1683-1753), of York, England. What edu- 
cation as an architect and engineer he had in England we do not 
know, but the earliest mention that we have found of him and 
of his brother Joseph Harrison in America is in the year 1745, 
when on April 3 Joseph Harrison, of Newport, was admitted a 
freeman of the Colony of Rhode Island. 1 On September 28 of 
this same year the Assembly " Voted and Resolved that His 
Honor the Governor be requested to send for Messrs. Jos. 
Harrison and Peter Harrison who have presented this Assembly 
with a handsome draught of Fort George and the Harbor of 
Newport very ingeniously drawn and give them the thanks of 
this Assembly." 2 A month later, on October 27, the Assembly 
" Voted and Resolved that the Committee that was appointed 
to procure a plan of Fort George and the Harbor of Newport, 
procure another draught or plan of said fort and harbor, exactly 
as the same now are, and present the same to His Honor the 
Governor to be signed by him and the Surveyor to be sent home 
. . .; and that the said committee procure a piece of plate to 
the value of £75 and present the same to Mr. Peter Harrison 
for his trouble in surveying and making a draught of said fort 
and harbor." 3 He was now apparently well established in New- 
port; for on June 6, 1746, he married Elizabeth (1 721-1784), 
daughter of Edward and Arabella Williams Pelham, whose 
grandmother was Godgift, daughter of Benedict Arnold, first 
Governor of Rhode Island. Through his wife Harrison acquired 
the estate subsequently known as " Harrison's Farm," in New- 
port, which is intersected by the present Harrison Avenue, 
named for the architect, and the old Harrison house remains 
a familiar landmark. 4 His marriage was followed by that of 
his elder brother Joseph on November 25 of the same year, 
at Portsmouth, N. H., to Eleanor Ridgway, whose mother's 
name was Acklin, Acklom, or Acklam, as given in the legal 

But his marriage did not interfere with his public duties. 
We find the Assembly on September 29, 1746, providing that, 
as "the well fortifying the town of Newport and furnishing the 
fortifications there with war like stores are necessary for the 

1 R. I. Col. Rec, v. 109. 

2 lb., 131. 3 lb., 153. 

4 Communicated by Mrs. Sarah King Birckhead. 


security of the Government," a sum is appropriated for "com- 
pleting the new works and the alteration of the old battery 
adjoining to Fort George at Goat Island," and that Joseph 
Harrison, Peter Harrison, and eleven others named "or the 
major of them be established and appointed a committee to 
finish the said new battery or work begun." x 

We next find him engaged in that work that has preserved 
his name and genius fresh to the present time, and made Peter 
Harrison the Doyen of a long line of distinguished architects in 
this country. For he is the first professional architect who is 
known to have practised here. At least, without any knowledge 
of his early life and education in England, we must regard him 
from the character of his work as a thoroughly trained archi- 
tect. Abraham Redwood had given a collection of books, and 
Henry Collins had provided a plot of ground for a library in 
Newport, and Peter Harrison was called upon to plan the build- 
ing and make the drawings for its erection. In the original ' ' Con- 
tract; Erection of Library Building," which is dated August 9, 
1748, the body of the paper recites that it is to be erected accord- 
ing "to a plan or Draught drawn by Mr. Joseph Harrison"; 
but six months later "Articles for Building the Library," under 
date of February 6, 1748/9, stipulating for certain changes from 
the original " Contract," recites according "to a plan or Draught 
drawn by Mr. Peter Harrison." The " Contract " and "Articles" 
will be found in the appendix to Mason's Annals of the Redwood 
Library (488-491), where the "Contract" is printed without 
signatures, as though it had been left unexecuted, but, by refer- 
ring to it in the "Articles," which is duly executed by the 
signatures of Samuel Wickham, Henry Collins, and John Tilling- 
hast, it is incorporated in and made part of the later paper, the 
two being read together as one document. 

The appearance of the name of "Joseph Harrison" in the 
"Contract" has caused some persons to question that Peter 
Harrison was the sole architect of the library building, but it 
seems quite clear to me that the introduction of the given name 
Joseph instead of Peter was a mere slip of the scrivener in en- 
grossing the instrument, which error was considered cured, 
without noting, by placing the name of Peter Harrison in the 
later and executed "Articles." The edifice thus provided for 
1 R. I. Col. Rec, v. 189. 


was opened for use in 1750. 1 It is a building of classic archi- 
tecture, originally a Roman temple, of the Doric order, and the 
exterior stands to-day as it came from the builder, only being 
added to in a way that does not seriously interfere with the 
original structure. The pediment in the front is supported by 
four columns beautifully curved in perfect entasis, the columns 
without flutings and the pediments without ornament or sculp- 
ture. The building is of wood upon a rustic basement of Con- 
necticut brownstone and broad steps and buttresses of the same 
material. In the past year (191 5) "the central hall has been 
remodelled in a manner both dignified and entirely in harmony 
with the features of Peter Harrison's work that remain on the 
earlier parts of the building." 2 

While engaged upon the Redwood Library building, Harrison 
was invited, in April, 1749, to make plans for rebuilding the 
King's Chapel in Boston, which, owing to a "multiplicity of 
business," he could not furnish until the following September, 
when he sent "The Plan — the Elevation of the West Front — 
the Elevation of the South Front — the Section — Breadth- 
ways — the Plans of the Steeple — the Plans of the Pews," 
with which "the committee were well pleased and accepted 
them." 3 In addition to the library building Peter Harrison 
designed for Newport the Brick Market House, built in 1761, 
eighty years later to become the City Hall, which unfortu- 
nately has been altered into a business mart, and the Jews' 
Synagogue, dedicated in 1763, which is still standing in prac- 
tically its original state. To be in readiness to help preserve 
the buildings he designed, Peter Harrison and his brother Joseph 
became, in 1749, members of the "Hand and Heart Fire 
Club" of Newport, and in September, 1750, he was one of the 
petitioners to the King relative to Bills of Credit. 4 His interest 
in public work continued, and on January 10, 1757, the As- 
sembly appointed the Speaker of the House and Peter Bours, 
Esq., "to wait on Captain Peter Harrison and render him the 
thanks of this government for all favors they have received 
from him; and in particular for the two plans of the Fort; and 

1 Mason, Annals of Redwood Library, 36. 

2 Bulletin Rhode Island School of Design, July, 1915, 6. 
8 Foote, Annals of King's Chapel, n. 82. 

4 R. I. Col. Rec, v. 312. 


to request him to lend another of said plains unto the commis- 
sioners appointed to wait on his Excellency the Earl of Loudon 
at the Congress in Boston." * 

Harrison was a pew holder in Trinity Church, Newport, in 
1755, and in 1762 was an underwriter for the enlargement of 
the church building. The previous year Christ Church, Cam- 
bridge, Mass., was opened which had been built from his de- 
signs, and the structure was spoken of as a "masterpiece of 
simplicity and beauty." That he was regarded at that time 
as a " prof essional architect" seems certain from the language 
of the letter of thanks written by the committee to the So- 
ciety for Establishing a Mission at Cambridge, November 24, 
1759: " We have applied to a masterly architect for a plan and 
propose to build a handsome church of wood." 2 Two years 
later we find the brothers Harrison removed to New Haven, 
in the Colony of Connecticut, where in 1768 Peter Har- 
rison was made Collector of the Customs, his brother Joseph 
having been given two years earlier the like office in Boston. 3 
In his history of Trinity Church, New Haven, Judge Croswell 
tells the story, 4 which he afterwards discredits, how "In 1768 
Peter Harrison, Esq., from Nottinghamshire, in England, the 
King's collector at the port of New Haven, claimed his right of 
searching the public records," and discovered one leaf in the 
Will Book much thicker than the others. "He put a corner of 
the thick leaf into his mouth, and soon found it was composed 
of two leaves, which with much difficulty having separated, he 
found Grigson's will," thereby recovering for Trinity Church 
valuable real estate left to it by Thomas Gregson, an early 
settler who had died some years before in England. This is the 
last note we have on Harrison until we come to the last notice 
we have of all of us, the record of his death, on April 30, 1775, 
and his burial at Trinity Church, New Haven, on May 7- 5 He 
was survived by his wife, Elizabeth Pelham, nine years, but the 
place of interment is unknown. By one of those odd freaks that 
sometimes creep into staid official records, the Probate Court, 

1 R. I. Col. Rec., vi. 13. 

2 Re-opening of Christ Church, Cambridge, November 22, 1857, 22. 

3 Joseph Harrison was appointed Collector of the Port of Boston, October 28, 

4 New Haven Hist. Soc. Papers, 1. 48-49. 

5 lb., 59. 


at New Haven, records that on May 18, 1775, "his widow Mary 
Harrison was appointed administratrix of his estate." 

The careers of the brothers Harrison were so intimately asso- 
ciated, they being engaged together in mercantile pursuits in 
Newport, dealing in wines, rum, molasses, and mahogany, that 
it is not out of place to supplement the story of Peter Harrison's 
life with some incidents in the life of Joseph. He was born 
November 25, 1709, came to this country, as we have seen, circa 
1745, and on July 4, 1748, was chosen a director of the Redwood 
Library. On February 24, 1749/50, the Assembly of Rhode 
Island named him and three others Commissioners "to run or 
perambulate the northern boundary line of this colony," with 
Massachusetts, which on March 16, 1750/51, they reported 
had been done. 1 He evidently had the laboring oar; for, Sep- 
tember 6, 1756, the Assembly resolved "that the mathematical 
instrument now in the colony house, and which was procured 
by Captain Joseph Harrison for the use of the Colony, be lodged 
in the Redwood Library; but so that the property remains in 
the colony." 2 In January, 1762, the Governor wrote to him 
inquiring into a grant that the Colony asked of the Crown, and 
the New London Gazette of October 26, 1764, says that " Jared 
Ingersoll and Joseph Harrison of New Haven Esquires sailed 
from hence on Prince Henry, Captain Robinson, for London"; 
Ingersoll doubtless to look after his appointment as Stamp dis- 
tributor, and Harrison for his appointment to the collectorship 
of the port of Boston. At all events each not very long after- 
ward received his commission. It would seem, however, from 
letters in the Franklin mss. that Harrison was also intrusted 
with a petition to the King asking for a Royal Government for 
Rhode Island, which Franklin was urged to facilitate. 3 Joseph 
and Peter Harrison were elected members of the American Phil- 
osophical Society at Philadelphia, April 1, 1768, which was 
looked upon in those days as equal to a crowning by the French 
Academy. Joseph Harrison returned to England soon after 
the breaking out of active hostilities in the Revolutionary War 
and died there January 15, 1787. He had two children born in 
Rhode Island, Richard Acklom (1 750-1813) and Elizabeth 

1 R. I. Col Rec, v. 281, 322. 2 lb., 512. 

3 Letters from Martin Howard Jr. dated Newport, Nov. 16, 1764 and May 
14, 1765 (American Philosophical Society). 


(i 759-1818). Neither married, and it was the daughter's death 
intestate that caused the suit at law described above and that 
has given the genealogical details here recorded. Portraits of 
Peter Harrison and of Mrs. Harrison, painted shortly after their 
marriage by John Smibert, are in the possession of their descend- 
ant Mr. Shipley Jones, before mentioned, of which copies were 
presented by the family to the Redwood Library in 1869. 1 

Mr. Morison communicated the following notes and docu- 
ments on 

A Yankee Skipper in San Domingo, 1797. 

It was a pleasant surprise when, going through a file of very 
dry diplomatic correspondence in the Public Record Office at 
London, I discovered this picaresque letter from a Yankee 
skipper describing his adventures at San Domingo. Its en- 
dorsements, with the accompanying note from Sir Hyde Parker, 
explain how the letter got into such respectable company. 
The British authorities were interested in the startling informa- 
tion imparted to Captain Morris by the fair Nannette "in the 
tender hours of dalliance." These communications must not 
be taken too seriously, but the letter gives a realistic picture of 
the state of affairs at San Domingo while Sonthonax, the chief 
commissary of the French Republic, 2 was endeavoring to main- 
tain himself against Toussaint L'Ouverture, 3 and of the difficul- 
ties of neutral commerce while the French spoliations were at 
their height. 4 

1 Reproductions are in Updike, History of the Episcopal Church in Narragan- 
sett (2d ed.). See also Bulletin of the New England Society for the Preservation 
of Antiquities, vi. No. 2. [Ed.] 

2 Leger-Felicite Sonthonax (1763-1813), a lawyer and editor, who believed 
in the slave policy of Condorcet and Brissot. "Sonthonax avait une ame 
ferme et haute, un esprit cultive, beaucoup de desinterressement; et c'est sur- 
tout a la Constance de son devourment a la cause de la liberte qu'il faut at- 
tribuer les persecutions et les calomnies dont il fut l'objet." E. Regnard in 
Nouvelle Biographie General, xliv. 185. 

3 For the historical background, see T. Lothrop Stoddard, The French Revolu- 
tion in San Domingo (Boston, 1914), chapter xxii. 

4 Cf . the letter of Victor Du Pont to Talleyrand, supra, p. 67. 


Admiral Sir Hyde Parker l to Evan Nepean. 2 

Queen, Cape Nicola Mole, 26 April, 1797. 

Sir, — Singular as the enclosed Copy of a Letter may appear; 
I have thought proper for the information it contains, to transmit, 
and to desire you will be pleased to lay, it before my Lords Com- 
missioners of the Admiralty. I am, Sir, Your most obedient humble 

H Parker. 

Evan Nepean Esqr. 

[Endorsed] 6 June. Send Copy of enclosure to Mr. Canning 3 for Lord 
Grenville's information. 4 

Captain Samuel Morris to . 

Cape Francois, Feb y 28 th , 1797 

Dear Peter, — From our mutual friend Ruben Atkins I was sur- 
prized to hear that he was told you were carrying on a great stroke of 
business at Turks Island, after you wrote to us you were settled so 
much to your satisfaction at Surinam. At this damned Place I 
have been long amongst a parcel of Villains, trying to procure pay- 
ment for the Merchandize taken from me by the Commissaries; 
at last I have succeeded — no thanks to them, but some fair friends 
with whom I scraped an acquaintance, and to whom I owe every 
thing. Without their assistance, I should, like the rest of my Coun- 
trymen, not have got a Sou. In two days, or sooner if possible, I 
shall leave this place, for I stand on ticklish ground I assure you; 
and when you have read what I am going to relate you will say it 
is full time to make a natural dash, if I wish to escape the Guillotine, 
or Lamp Post. Such a tale I have to unfold as will make you 
shudder, but to begin in form. You know Peter I was always a 
favourite with the Girls and that I have a good Person well set off 
by a Je ne sais quoi in the air or manner, this you must acknowledge, 
tho' you often told me I was a damn'd Puppy, instead of Studying 
law with old Square Toes to go to learn French and dancing with a 
New Master, when I was a complete dab at Hey Rob. and Statia 5 

1 (1739-1807)) second of that name, and then in command of the West India 

2 The Secretary of the Admiralty. 

3 George Canning was then an undersecretary in the Foreign Office, under 
Lord Grenville. 

4 This document, and the following, are in the Public Record Office, F. O. 
5- ai. 

5 Probably a reference to the Dutch island of St. Eustatius, a great centre of 
smuggling during the American Revolution. 


Girls. But this, Peter, was downright envy and jealousy in you, 
because your favourite Jenny Green always preferred me as a Part- 
ner. You remember how you used to swear, whenever I took her 
by the hand at Cousin Riddle's. I hope you have left off that custom 
of swearing "By Zounds," "Darn it," "I swear now, Mate," as it 
is quite out of vogue. Well, Peter I will leave you to judge whether 
I have not brought my dancing and palavering French, for which 
you often laughed at me, to a pretty good account. 

On my arrival here my Property (and a good assortment it was) 
was put in requisition. This I bore with a good Grace, and in good 
French too — mark that, Peter. I gave them, as it was needless to 
compliment, a sample of Democratical slang on Liberty and Equal- 
ity, and when an occasion offered was the first at a Civic feast to 
dance and sing Qa Ira and the Carmagnole, with the best of them; 
instead of drawling out your America, Commerce and Freedom, 
whilst my brother sufferers with woeful faces as long as my Arm 
were groaning over the "Deacon's notions" and long lace. Well, 
what think you, Peter, I did to recover my property? Why, you 
made a hue and cry and put forth a lamentable petition to the 
Municipality. No such thing I assure you, Peter — all weeping and 
gnashing of teeth would answer little purpose here. Why then, I 
suppose you will say, I joined in a lengthy complaint to Congress. 
You are still wide of the mark. No, no Peter, it is not the interest of 
the Jockies of the Congress to advocate such a business whilst 
Adet 1 has any credit left with the Republic. Why then, what the 
Devil did you? I '11 tell you, Peter — by dint of perseverance, some 
patriotic blarney, with a small dash of American modesty. I caperd, 
sung and ogled myself into the good graces of Santhonax's fair 
family. There I fell on my feet let me tell you, and you may guess 
if I did not profit by my good fortune. By this connection I came to 
the knowledge of some secrets, the revelation of which will make 
you shudder and also shew you the peril of an intrigue with the con- 
nections of such a Cut-Throat Rascal and Incendiary. I almost 
tremble when I think of my situation here, and such has been my 
situation for some time past for fear of discovery that I have felt 
regularly every morning if my head was safe on my shoulders. I 
shall now proceed Peter to give you an account of my adventures 

My fair Nannette who is a great favourite of Santhonax and af- 
fects to be a mighty Politician, and besides being as clever and know- 
ing a Girl as your friend Dolly Tipkins, writes a good running hand, 
and is employed by Santhonax in copying his dispatches. She tells 

1 The French minister at Philadelphia. 


me, and I think it probable, he intrusts her with all his secrets. 
(By-the-by, Santhonax wishes to be very intimate with her but is 
devilishly afraid of his Wife, who is of a jealous temper), but of 
this judge yourself, Peter, by what follows. Nannette, who believes 
me a true Democrat and that I will return to the Cape and marry 
her, told me in the tender hours of dalliance that Santhonax has 
been much disappointed in not acquiring the wealth he expected 
through his Wife's and his own interest with the Brigands. He 
has been fouter-ing and peste-ing ever since his arrival to find him- 
self suspected and distrusted by his black friends, and his brother 
Commissaires who expected pretty pickings; and are mighty dis- 
appointed to see that Santhonax from not having made a fair division 
of the plunder of Hispaniola had become very obnoxious to the 
Negroes. However, Santhonax and the Commissaries are de- 
termined to realize a fortune by some means or other. In the first 
attempt they were baffled, which was to remove some Brigand 
Chiefs unfavorable to their views, and to make a number of the 
Negroes work in the name of the Republic for them. This step 
threw the whole Island into a flame and the Commissaries began 
to have serious apprehensions for their own safety; but they are now 
relieved from their fears by the severe drubbing the British gave the 
Brigands to the Southward which will keep them quiet from neces- 
sity — at least for a time. 

On asking Nannette what could be the motive of the Executive 
Directory for giving orders to seize American property, she told me 
it was from necessity, as they could not procure friends [funds] 
to supply the colonies with Stores and Provisions, and that they were 
vexed to find the Americans would not take an active part against 
the British, but that they were resolved whilst the Americans were 
off their guard to render their enmity or friendship of little conse- 
quence to any nation. The Commissioners in their private instruc- 
tions are directed to make the speediest and best use of their orders 
for destroying the American Commerce; and that proper instruc- 
tions would be dispatched to Adet, who with the American Patriots 
would assign sufficient reasons for so strong a measure, that it was 
expected the Americans would grumble and remonstrate long before 
they would think of biting, but steps would be taken speedily to 
deprive them of the power of doing so much mischief — so that a 
few months at least could be gained in negociation, and in that time 
a sufficient quantity of Provisions and Stores would be secured, 
and it was expected that if this measure was speedily and well exe- 
cuted the American Aristocrats would be deceived, the British Credit 
destroy'd, and from the greatness of their loss they would be reduced 
to a state of equality more favourable to the interest of the Republic. 


This Peter bad as you may think of it is not the worst of it, for I 
find from Nannette, they mean to play the same game in America 
they have done in the West Indies. 

In a letter to Santhonax from the Executive Directory, for he is 
the only Commissary Nannette says they will implicitly trust, he 
is ordered with Adet to leave nothing untried to ruin the British 
and American Merchants and to employ proper Agents to execute 
this purpose. On my asking her in what manner, she answered by 
the destruction of the Depots of Merchants in the Towns, 1 and that 
Santhonax had written to Adet that the best mode and least liable 
to detection would be to employ a few Cape Agents who were 
well trained, and many of them living in Seaports of America, of 
whom he sent Adet a List; and at the same time proposed to him, 
if he would undertake the business to the Northward, that he could 
furnish and send from the Cape a sufficient number who would 
volunteer it to the Southward. The business she said had been 
partly executed to the Southward, as some of the Agents had re- 
turned, received their reward, and gone back with fresh orders, but 
that little had been done to the Northward. She said Santhonax 
was much vexed with Adet, who he said was a pitiful Poltroon, 
afraid of his own shadow, for in case of any Suspicion or even dis- 
covery, he might easily shift the odium from himself to the Emi- 
grants and British and he swore, with the Agents he pointed out to 
him, who were men of tried experience and fidelity, Adet might 
by this time have made a feu de joie of every Town on the Conti- 
nent, instead of his paltry squibbing matter. 

Did you ever hear Peter of such a couple of infernal Villains? 
There is not a place in Hell hot enough for them. Only think of 
my loss, £600 "by zounds," every Copper, for as W.* Williams who 
was brought in here the other day says the house Aunt Dianah left 
me is burnt to the Ground, as also Cousin Bens. Oh! Curse on the 
Rascals! how many thousands will be ruined by their damned 
Machinations and Plots ! I would instantly I swear shoot Santhonax 
through the head if there was a possibility of escaping. The Com- 
missaries expect a fine Harvest from their seizures and from what 
I know of them the Republic will be little benefited by their Acts 

1 This information, though from a source of doubtful value, would seem 
at first to confirm certain rumors of impending arson by French agents, that were 
current in the United States at this period, and made much of by the Federalist 
press. But there is no hint of any such plan in the correspondence between the 
Directory and Adet, which I have examined carefully; and Mr. T. Lothrop 
Stoddard, who has examined the correspondence between the Directory and the 
San Domingo Commissioners, tells me that no such instructions were sent to 

* Not clear [copyist's note]. 


of Piracy. No less than 167 Sail of Vessels have been seized and 
carried into the Cape, the out ports and Cuba since they received 
the Orders of the Directory, and I am sorry to say that it was from 
this fund the Commissaries paid me, telling me that I was a true 
Sansculotte and worthy of being a French citizen. Damn their 
Citizenship, I say. The Commissaries have given me a Pass for 
any Vessel and Cargo I may bring from America, and Commissioned 
for a number of dry goods for their families. I thought Santhonax 
when he gave me the order smiled, as much as to say, "Monsieur, 
you will find few goods in America on your return!" But Peter, 
if ever they catch me here again, I will give them leave to guillotine 
me and barbecue me into the bargain. Every Vessel they can lay 
their hands on, they are turning into a Privateer, and I am told the 
Spaniards are following their example. When I arrive I shall write 
to you by the first Vessel bound to Turks Island. I send this by 
R'd Davis who says he will forward it either from the Mole or 
Kingston. Do let me hear from you, Peter, as soon as you can. 
I am, Peter, your true Friend and well wisher 

(ss) Sam l Morris. 

Signed — a True Copy from the Original Taken by me at Turks Island this 
3 rd April, 1797. 

John Wright 
Justice of the Peace at Turks Island. 

P.S. I suppose you will be sorry to hear that old Uncle Nathan 
is dead, and I guess of a broken heart. You know he was a great 
follower of the Baptists. He fell desperately in love with a Bap- 
tist Sister; you remember that Stiff Piece of Sanctity; prating Sin- 
ning Leah, who always groaned and sighed at the sight of a fiddle 
— the very same. By the persuasion of the Baptist Preacher (it 
is said) he married her 6 or 8 Months ago. My old Uncle wrote to 
me that he had been very lonesome since my Sister Sally had left 
him, and that he had taken a pious Maiden for an helpmate, and it 
had rejoiced his heart exceedingly that the Lord had given him a 
chosen vessel to be the comfort of his Age (a cracked Pitcher he 
meant, Peter) for would you believe it, this Pious Maiden this chosen 
Vessel 5 or 6 Months after they were married brought him Twins — 
two strapping Boys. Old Nathan never held up his head after. 
Joe Benson mentions to me in his letter that it was the Baptist 
Preacher who tipped Uncle Nathan — an old Trader I 

(ss.) S. M. 
(A True Copy) J. Wright J. P. 
Turks Island, 3 d April 1797. 

Copied from a Copy taken by Captain Fowke of the Swallow Brig — from 
the above regularly attested one. (Signed) A. J. Scott. 


The Editor submitted for publication the following article 
by William Alexander Robinson, of Washington University, 
St. Louis, on 

The Washington Benevolent Society in New England: 
A Phase of Politics during the War of 1812. 1 

The history of New England during the second war with Great 
Britain can hardly be considered inspiring even by fervent admirers 
of that section. For more than a decade the region had been the 
scene of one of the bitterest contests in the history of American 
politics. JefTersonian Democracy had gradually conquered, stub- 
bornly resisted by the local aristocracy of the towns and by the Con- 
gregational Church. Parties had been based largely on social lines, 
and the natural bitterness of such a division had been aggravated 
by religious and commercial issues. Federalists charged that the 
commercial policy of Jefferson and his successor had been the result 
of utter indifference or even of active hostility to New England in- 
terests. Republicans replied that the Federalists were more devoted 
to commerce than to upholding national rights. "So attached are 
our seaports to bargains," wrote Parson Bentley shortly before the 
Embargo, "that we should hardly be induced to believe that they 
would think of considering public liberty the best bargain." 2 At- 
tachment to the cause of one or other of the great European belliger- 
ents increased antagonism, and when it seemed probable that war 
would soon break out with either France or England, people seemed 
to lose sight of their own country while defending their foreign favor- 
ites. 3 When war with Great Britain finally began, it found the 
New England Federalists bitterly hostile to their own government. 
In a region which a few decades later gave freely of blood and 
treasure to preserve the nation, secession was openly proposed, and 

1 The Washington Benevolent Society has received only occasional mention 
from historians. The only connected account is Harlan H. Ballard's " A Forgotten 
Fraternity," Collections of the Berkshire Historical and Scientific Society, m. 
279-298, which contains interesting descriptive material and special references 
to the local Berkshire society. 

The attention of the present writer was first drawn to the subject in the 
course of a study of Jeffersonian Democracy in the New England States. Dr. 
Samuel E. Morison, of Harvard University, who refers to the society in his Har- 
rison Gray Otis, has called his attention to certain phases of the subject, and his 
interest and assistance are gratefully acknowledged. 

2 Diary of William Bentley, in. 316. 

3 Cf. Spooner's Vermont Journal, January 15, 1810: "The care of those na- 
tions, the defense of their claims, and apologies for their errors and crimes, 
seems to be the labor of too many of our writers." 


some of its leaders engaged in discussions hardly less than treason- 
able. Some years after the war a Republican paper thus described 
the situation: "Upon the declaration of war that flame of faction 
which had so long been kindling, suddenly burst forth, and for a 
time, leveled all patriotism, all political honesty, in its progress. 
Every engine of abuse and scurrility was put in operation, every 
species of intrigue, of bribery, and corruption was practiced to 
draw the people into a state of open rebellion against the constituted 
authorities of the country, and as an incipient step to this consum- 
mation so devoutly to be wished, to make them federalists." l 
Undoubtedly the above description is exaggerated, but it contains 
a large element of truth. 

An interesting feature of the period was the introduction by the 
Federalists of one of those curious organizations which have ap- 
peared at different times in American politics, attempting to further 
political objects under a guise of secrecy and fraternal association. 
The critical condition of national affairs in this period and the fact 
that it was one of the first important efforts of its kind lend a certain 
interest to the activities of the Washington Benevolent Society. 

The first appearance of this organization in New England was in 
Rhode Island, where branches were established in 18 10 in opposition 
to the Columbian Order or Tammany Society which had flourishing 
lodges among the Republicans. The Rhode Island Republican on 
July 25 warned people against them as "wolves in sheep's clothing," 
their real design not benevolence or fraternity, but to unite all 
enemies of the government and oppose the execution of Congres- 
sional laws. In the next two years the society appeared in all the 
New England states and numbered its members by thousands. 2 

Extra-legal political organizations were not popular in the United 
States at this time. Parties felt constrained to keep their operations 
secret and had shown great joy in exposing the operations of their 
opponents who were unprincipled enough to maintain a committee 
system for getting out the voters. A tremendous uproar had been 
raised a few years earlier when sympathizers with Revolutionary 
France had organized the Democratic Clubs. An interesting com- 
ment on the appearance of the new society runs: 

Who but remembers the uproar which agitated the whole continent a few 
years ago, at the formation of several small societies for the purpose of counter- 
acting the policy and designs of Hamilton and his Junto. These were then repre- 
sented as formidable conspiracies against Government, nurseries of rebellion, 
threatening the demolition of order and regular subordination. The strong arm 
of power was exerted to crush them in their infancy. . . . The very authors of 

1 National Aegis, September 22, 18 19. 

2 See M. W. Jernegan, The Tammany Societies of Rhode Island, 29. 


the outcry are now incorporating themselves into societies for the purpose of 
overawing the Administration and spreading disaffection of their authority. . . . 
What would be said if the government should attempt to put the confederates 
down? What would be said at a revival of the Sedition Law? l 

A great change in American political consciousness since the Federal- 
ist era is shown by the absence of any such repressive action. 

It is not easy to trace the establishment of an order of which 
secrecy was an essential characteristic, but the Republican press 
furnishes considerable evidence of its operations. Contemporaries 
seem to have been ignorant of its origin. Some attributed it to 
Baltimore, others to Philadelphia, still others to Canada. 2 Mathew 
Carey, regarding Boston as the headquarters of all political iniquity, 
claimed it had also originated this treasonable society. 3 As a matter 
of fact, it was organized in New York in 1808 for the purpose of 
contesting the growing power of the Tammany Society. 4 Some years 
earlier, Alexander Hamilton had suggested, as a method of meeting 
the encroachments of democracy, a great social and political or- 
ganization which should include all classes in its membership and 
give the natural leaders a chance to exert their influence. The 
society embodied a number of his ideas. 

Except for the Rhode Island branches, the order appears to have 
entered New England across the New York line. Many societies 
were established in Vermont in 18 11, while, with the exception of a 
branch at Pittsfield, the order does not seem to have made much 
progress in Massachusetts and New Hampshire until the spring of 
1 81 2. "It is like Henry and the Canada thistle, making its way 
from north to south," declared a Boston paper soon after a branch 
had been organized in the latter town. 5 Vermont was a stronghold 
of Republicanism, and the Federalists undoubtedly hoped that the 
Washington Benevolent Society would prove a valuable aid in re- 
gaining control. In August, 181 1, it was announced that secret 
societies were being established "from the Canada line to New 
York" with the object of favoring British commerce, opposing re- 

1 National Aegis, November 7, 18 10. 

2 New Hampshire Patriot, March 2, 1813, April 4, 1815; Independent Chronicle, 
April 23, 181 2; Boston Patriot, April 1, 181 2. The Green Mountain Farmer, 
published at Bennington, Vermont, February 25, 1812, urges as a reason for the 
conquest of Canada " their incitements to secret treasonable societies among us" 
and because it served as an asylum for "counterfeiters and villains." 

3 The Olive Branch, 481. 

4 Harlan H. Ballard, A Forgotten Fraternity, 290. 

5 Independent Chronicle, April 23, 181 2. A reference to John Henry, the 
British spy, whose disclosures had recently been purchased by President Madison 
in the hope of discrediting the Federalist leaders of New England. These docu- 
ments were of little value, but were exploited by the press in such a way as to 
arouse considerable feeling. 


publicanism, securing a separation of the states, and uniting all 
local opposers of the government. 1 Later in the year it was reported 
that a convention of members had met at Vergennes and that many 
town societies had sent representatives. 2 In February another paper 
states that "fever among the Windham county members has pro- 
duced effects similar to hydrophobia in the canine race" and that 
they were "running from town to town" establishing local units of 
the order. 3 Two months later it is declared that the societies are to 
be found in almost every town in the state, many of them having 
been quietly established during the preceding December "by Parson 
Blaisdell from Montpelier" under pretence of improving morals. 4 
During the same winter there was great activity in Massachu- 
setts. The National Aegis, on March 25, reports that two eminent 
Federalists of Worcester had gone the preceding week "all the way 
to Northampton and there together with twenty-five others were 
initiated into the mysteries of the Secret Association." The Fed- 
eralist paper a week later congratulates the town on the introduction 
of "this excellent and highly respectable society" which already had 
a membership of "upwards of one hundred of our most respectable 
citizens." 5 This incident is typical of what was happening all over 
the state. 6 In New Hampshire at the same time it is reported that 
the societies "are springing up like mushrooms in the shade, in the 
principal towns where can be found a sufficiency of political im- 
posters to make a respectable number." 7 The society made little 
effort apparently to enter the District of Maine. The latter was a 
stronghold of radical Republicanism, bitterly opposed to Massa- 
chusetts Federalism, and intensely loyal to the national Adminis- 
tration. It is reported that Fryeburg had the only branch of the 
society to be found in the District. 8 In Connecticut Republicanism 
was exceedingly weak. Jefferson's followers had made strenuous 
efforts to overthrow the Federalist oligarchy which controlled state 
politics, but had made little headway. Apparently Federalist su- 
premacy was too secure to need the assistance of the societies, and 
although a number were established in the state, they do not seem 
to have attracted much attention. 9 

1 Green Mountain Farmer, Bennington, August 5. 

2 Washingtonian, December 9, 181 1. 

3 Vermont Republican, February 10, 181 2. 

* lb., April 6. 6 Massachusetts Spy, April 1. 

6 Boston Yankee, April 3. 

7 New Hampshire Gazette, April 14. 

8 Eastern Argus, March 17, 1814. Among the papers of the Boston Society, 
however, there is a letter requesting assistance in establishing a branch at Hallo- 

9 Connecticut Courant, March 1, 18 14. 


What were the professions of the organization? The Massachu- 
setts Historical Society has preserved the records of the Boston 
branch, and there may be found its constitution. The preamble, 
like so many Federalist documents, goes back to the golden age of 
Washington's administration, when a the people were prosperous in 
their industry, the government was respected by foreign nations, 
and the commercial prosperity, the wealth and the power of the 
United States were augmented to a degree without precedent and 
beyond the most sanguine expectation." Then came the evil days 
of Democracy, when wicked men misled the people. To restore the 
old-time conditions, therefore, the society was pledged "to support 
the constitution of the United States in its original purity, to have 
the government administered with fidelity, wisdom, and ability, 
to oppose all encroachments of Democracy, Aristocracy, or Despot- 
ism," etc. Besides these general objects, the society pledged itself 
to relieve cases of individual distress among citizens, to care for 
Revolutionary veterans and their dependents, and to inculcate the 
precepts of Washington in the minds of the rising generation. 1 

Contemporary opinion refused to accept the organization's pro- 
fessions of benevolent purposes, and existing evidence does not show 
much activity of that sort. The records of the Boston society show 
only two or three trifling gifts for charitable purposes. "The credu- 
lous are made to believe that benevolence is the grand object," 
says a Vermont critic. " Some acts of charity are undoubtedly per- 
formed to blind the eyes of their deluded followers and to stimulate 
others to become members." 2 A few months later a complaint is 
made in the same state that there is little charitable work being done, 
and yet one society could spend $140 for silk flags and badges. 3 
"Who has heard of a solitary instance of their benevolence since 
they were organized?" runs the challenge of a Massachusetts con- 
temporary. 4 Another comments on the fact that few paupers were 
to be found in the localities where the societies were most numerous 
(northern New England), and that the existing institutions, Masonic 
and public, could take care of the few cases of want occasionally 
to be found. 5 A Berkshire writer compares the charity of Bain- 

1 See Boston Yankee, April 30, 1813. In regard to education, "They have 
collected a number of children and led them to be educated like Colts to the 
menagerie, to be bridled with restraints, to be saddled with prejudices, and jockied 
about by party spirit. When trained sufficiently in this charity school, they are 
to be bound out to Faction to learn the trades of Sedition and Treason." 

2 Vermont Republican, February 24, 181 2. 

3 Green Mountain Farmer, December 2, 1812. 

4 National Aegis, August' 12, 181 2. 

5 Independent Chronicle, April 23, 181 2. See also Boston Patriot, April 18, 


bridge and the crew of the Constitution who from their scanty pay 
contributed $400 to the widow of the sailing master, while a 
gathering of over two thousand " Benevolents " at Stockbridge 
raised but $73 for a fellow member who had recently lost his 
entire property by fire. 1 Some charitable work was undoubtedly 
performed and in the list of subscribers for the relief of fire suf- 
ferers in Portsmouth in 18 14 appear the names of eight local socie- 
ties, some of them for considerable amounts. 2 

That the societies were mainly political in character there can 
be no doubt. "Their leaders have denied that their object is politi- 
cal. It is as evident as the sun at midday that their objects are not 
only political, but intended to overthrow the present republican 
administration." 3 So runs a New Hampshire attack. "Who will 
believe that great men have backed the order from motives of benevo- 
lence? It is for the purpose of giving energy and efficiency to the 
operations of a Junto and effecting an organized and systematic 
opposition to the government." 4 These are the words of a Boston 
editor. "It is a party society, anti-Republican, anti-Washingtonian, 
anti-Federal, an ti- American," declares the National Aegis, Septem- 
ber 16, 18 1 2. The Federalist press says little about the objects of 
the association, but the records of the Boston branch furnish con- 
clusive evidence of political character. A letter from a group of 
Federalists in Marblehead, May 21, 181 2, requesting assistance in 
organizing a local branch, incidentally remarks: "The work of re- 
generation appears to have commenced among the misled citizens 
of this place and we wish to afford all the assistance in our power to 
carry it on to perfection." Marblehead had been a centre of Re- 
publican strength. Similar in tone is a letter requesting the same 
assistance in Plymouth County, dated April 20, 181 2. The letter 
states that the project will be taken up at a party meeting in the 
course of a few days, and comments on the desirability of establish- 
ing branches in every town, reporting to the county officers, who in 
turn would be "the medium of intelligence to the Head Quarters of 
Good Principles." "I am seriously of opinion," says the writer, 
"that if this plan could become universal in each County in the 
State, by the next year good men would be restored to their stand- 

1 Pittsfield Sun, April 1, 1813. "The Prince Regent Malevolent Society." 

2 Portsmouth Oracle, April 16, 1814. 

8 New Hampshire Patriot, May 3, 1814. Cf. March 2, 1813. "They form an 
important part in that system of organized opposition that threatens the dis- 
solution of your Union, the subversion of your government, and the destruction 
of your liberties." 

4 Boston Patriot, May 6, 181 2. For comment on the efforts of the Federalists 
to carry Vermont, see Vermont Republican, June 8, 22, 181 2. 


ing in its concerns." l And a few years later, a proposal to dissolve 
the society confesses "that the political purposes for which the so- 
ciety was instituted had been fully accomplished." 2 It is difficult 
to judge as to the actual results of its activity, but from the alarm 
and dislike expressed by its opponents it would seem to have been 
decidedly effective. Berkshire County was carried by the Federalists 
for the first time in twelve years as a result of its work, according to 
a Republican authority. 3 

The membership of the society seems to have been all inclusive. 
The Republicans quoted with great indignation the remark of one 
of the founders to the effect that its great object was "to collect 
together the Gentlemen and separate them from the Democrats." 4 
This exclusiveness does not seem to have been followed in actual 
practice. The constitution of the Boston society provides for the 
free admission of those who may be unable to pay the regular fees, 
which were usually one dollar initiation and the same for annual 
dues. A widely quoted expose by Sylvester Pond, of Castle ton, 
Vermont, states in regard to the membership, "I can truly say they 
have some of the best and some of the worst." According to him, 
the character of no candidate was examined, and drunkards, liars, 
and still more unsavory characters were freely admitted. 5 The 
Boston Patriot, July 15, 1815, describes how "the neediest and 
meanest of the people" were attracted by means of gifts. In New 
Hampshire "the distribution of largesses and the insidious em- 
ployment of constantly accumulating funds" were reported to have 
similar objects. 6 Bentley states "the body of these associations is 
of young lawyers and Merchant clerks." 7 Probably a large number 
of the members were young. 8 Considerable social ill feeling resulted 
from the spread of the organization. Pond states that "they are 
the cause of great differences in societies, churches, neighborhoods, 

1 Both the above letters are found in a volume of miscellaneous documents of 
the Boston branch, now in possession of the Massachusetts Historical Society. 

2 Records of Standing Committee, 74, February 8, 182 1. 

3 New Hampshire Patriot, March 4, 1814. 

4 Boston Patriot, May 6, 1815. "Democrat" was still a term of reproach. 

6 Independent Chronicle, April 16, 181 2. Cf. Vermont Republican, February 
24, 1812. "Tories, monarchists, and aristocrats are received with open arms 
without regard to character or reputation." 

6 New Hampshire Patriot, March 2, 1813. 

7 Diary, iv. 87. He describes the Washington's birthday celebration of the 
Salem branch as distinguished by "rude toasts and political insults," after which 
"they sallied at midnight into the streets yelling and destroying property as a 
proof that they held fast to the rules of good order and public peace." 

8 Cf. New Hampshire Patriot, March 2, 1813. "The novelty of these societies 
has excited numbers to join them, particularly the young and credulous. Upon 
this portion of the society they rest their principal hopes for success." 


and even in private families." Another report states that "Churches 
are separating, dissolving, and dismissing their pastors in various 
places amidst the ravages of disunion in consequence of the Wash- 
ington Benevolent Societies." 1 

The Republicans at first viewed the spread of the societies with 
alarm, which later seems to have changed to ridicule and dislike. 
On April 14, 181 2, the New Hampshire Gazette remarks: "The es- 
tablishment at the present crisis of our public affairs of this institu- 
tion with branches in several parts of the union is seriously alarming 
and demands watchfulness and careful inspection by the friends of 
liberty." In Vermont a Republican meeting was called at Windsor 
"for the purpose of investigating and enquiring into the origin, prog- 
ress, and designs of certain secret self-created societies in various 
sections of our country." The resolutions adopted by this gathering 
condemn the associations as seditious and treasonable and warn all 
good citizens to be on guard against them. 2 Not long after, there 
appears a call for Republicans to organize "committees of safety" 
in every town, inasmuch as the Benevolents were actively working 
for a separation of the states. 3 Resolutions adopted by conventions 
in a number of different localities have the same tone. 4 

The National Aegis on August 12, 18 12, declared that ridicule 
would be the most successful weapon "against the puerile, ridiculous 
ostentation of the mushroom Washington Clubs which are springing 
up in all parts of the land." Ridicule did play a large part in the 
campaign against them. Republican newspapers, orators, and 
pamphlets found abundant material for satire. One of the most 
amusing satires is entitled "The First Book of the Washington 
Benevolents, otherwise called the Book of the Knaves," published 
in Boston in 1813 and followed at intervals by second, third, and 
fourth "books." The preface to the fourth book which appeared in 
1 8 14 comments on the success of the preceding volumes as "an 
exposure of hypocrisy and fraud," and declares that "it proves that 
folly and deception, although they may for a time, by the aid of 
Roses, Flags, and other Baubles lead the weak and unthinking 

1 Vermont Republican, June 1, 1812. The Pittsfield Sun, April 1, 1813, com- 
plains that the societies have carried partisanship to the point where non-mem- 
bers were not allowed to take part in the funeral ceremonies of Federalists. 

2 Vermont Republican, March 9, 181 2 

3 Green Mountain Farmer, July 10, 181 2; see also November 18. 

4 See New Hampshire Patriot, February 23, 1813. The resolutions of the Fourth 
Senatorial District meeting charge the societies with secessionist activity. 
Pittsfield Sun, March 25, 1813; Berkshire County resolutions, Boston Patriot, 
September 12, 1812, Worcester County. March 21, 1813, Plymouth County 


astray, must eventually give way to the power of truth, and the 
sharpest of all weapons, the power of ridicule." * 

In 1 81 5 it was suggested that Union Societies with Committees 
of Vigilance should be formed throughout New England to stimu- 
late loyalty and check any further secessionist tendencies. Circu- 
lars proposing such an organization were sent around, but the 
great change in feeling which accompanied the return of peace seems 
to have caused the abandonment of the project. 2 

The public exercises of the society readily lent themselves to 
ridicule. These took the form of processions on Washington's 
Birthday, the anniversary of the first inauguration, or the Fourth of 
July, usually composed of a militia escort, guests, the officers of the 
society, boys in uniform wearing wreaths and carrying copies of the 
farewell address, and the divisions of the society, each with its mar- 
shals and banners bearing allegorical devices. Great pomp and 
ceremony attended the Boston celebration of April 29, 181 2, when 
nine divisions were in line. Standards emblematic of such subjects 
as Independence, Commerce, Peace and a variety of others were 
carried. 3 This was a type of exercises which occurred at various 
points in all the New England States throughout the war period. 4 
In 1 8 14 the Boston Patriot, April 30, suggests that the procession 
should take the form of a funeral for "Rebellion," and appropriate 
mottoes for their standards would be "Separation of the States," 
"Northern Confederacy," "No Essential Injury," "Bulwark of 
Religion," etc., allusions to utterances of Massachusetts Federalists. 

1 There is a copy of this rare pamphlet in the American Antiquarian Society 
Library at Worcester. It is throughout a parody on the Biblical Chronicles. An 
extract describing a "Benevolent" banquet in Boston follows: 

"Book II, Chapter VIII, verse 2: And it had well nigh drawn to the third 
watch of the night, and the morning was beginning to break in the East. 

"3. And many of the assemblage, by reason of the strong drink which they 
had swallowed, reeled to and fro like drunken men. 

"4. And their tongues were in continual motion but the words which they 
uttered were not distinct, and verily it seemed as they had mittens upon them. 

"5. And they were exceeding noisy and sang songs and swore oaths, and did 
commit other acts of folly and wickedness. 

" 6. Yea, they took the vessels of glass which contained the wine and the other 
liquors, and did throw them at the heads of each other. . . . 

" 10. And the watchmen who guarded the city, hearing the uproar, rushed in 
among them. 

"11. And some fled one way and some another, and some were lying motion- 
less on the ground like men slain in fighting." 

2 New Hampshire Patriot, April 4, 1815; also Boston Patriot, February 15, 
181 5, the latter drawing its ideas from Carey's Olive Branch. 

8 Columbian Centinel, April 29, May 2, 181 2. 

4 See Boston Patriot, May 4, 1814, April 29, 1815. Boston Aegis, June 19, 


The procession ought also to include mules bearing the reversed boots 
and spurs of John Henry and Copenhagen Jackson, and as rear- 
guard "an Ass, bearing full length Portraits of the Whole Group." 

The public exercises were usually followed by an oration and 
that in turn by a banquet. Toasts drunk at the Newburyport ban- 
quet on Washington's Birthday, 1813, are suggestive of Federalist 
opinion at this time. "The Tree of our Liberties — May the Apes 
of French policy no longer suspend themselves from its branches, nor 
the Jackalls of the French Emperor repose in its shade"; "The 
Thirteen old United States — We object to resigning our Birthright 
for a hotchpotch with our Red Brethren and prairie dogs," the 
latter an allusion to the admission of Western states. 1 

The orations delivered before the societies form part of the huge 
Federalist literature that has accumulated in New England libraries. 
Sermons, newspapers, broadsides, pamphlets, orations printed by 
request — all are distinguished by pessimism and distrust in Ameri- 
can institutions. They look backward, not to the future. The tone 
adopted by the society's orators is interesting, as it apparently 
represents the opinion of the members and justifies to a considerable 
degree the charges of their opponents. Josiah Quincy, in an oration 
of 18 13, urges the commercial states "to prove they at least have the 
will to be free. ... If relief come, and permanent security, it must 
come from ourselves." Daniel Webster, in an oration on July 4, 
181 2, expressly repudiates any idea of resistance and insurrection, 
but is emphatic as to New England's grievances. Similar in tone is 
one delivered on the same date in Plainfield, Vermont, by Samuel 
Prentiss. The oration of R. H. Dana, Cambridge, July 4, 1814, 
laments " the shame, the hardships, the declining virtue of this once 
proud and happy people." Of a more radical type is the Washing- 
ton's birthday oration of Josiah Dunham at Windsor, Vermont, 
1814. There is a savage attack on the war policy of the Madison 
Administration, and a comparison is made between the tyranny of 
the Democrats and that of George III, the same remedy being 
justifiable in both cases. "The unfeeling Harrison, who could feast 
his eyes and glut his vengeful soul" on the sight of burning Indian 
villages, is cited as an example of the spirit animating the war 
party. Then come the customs officials who were trying to sup- 
press trade with the enemy, "a pimping, privileged spy at almost 
every corner." "I would adhere to the Union as long as the Union 
affords equal protection to its political members.. . . . There is a 
point beyond which its Friends in New England cannot go. There 

1 National Aegis, March 3, 18 13. Some other toasts and rhymes are decidedly 
coarse and indecent. 


are two things dearer to the Whigs of the North than the Union, 
COMMERCE and FREEDOM." With audiences listening to and 
applauding such utterances, it is not surprising that the Republicans 
questioned their loyalty. 1 

The societies flourished throughout the first two years of the war, 
but there seems to be a decline in their activity in 18 14. The mem- 
bers were charged with a variety of offences during the war. Says 
the author of the "Fourth Book of the Washington Benevolents" 
in his preface, "The Benevolent Society men have been detected 
in aiding the enemy. Nine tenths of all the evasions of law have 
been committed by Washington Benevolents; nine tenths of all the 
smugglers are members of that society," etc. Captain Isaac Hodsden, 
Thirty-third United States Infantry commanding at Stewartstown, 
New Hampshire, reported that he had secured evidence that "al- 
most every man of the Peace Party, alias Washington Benevolent 
Society, in this vicinity has been concerned in this unlawful trade 
with the enemy." 2 Similar offences were said to be common in 
Vermont. 3 Undue interest in and charity for British prisoners is a 
subject of complaint in Massachusetts. 4 Discouragement of en- 
listments is another alleged offence of the New Hampshire mem- 
bers. 5 That all of these offences occurred in New England during the 
war is unquestionable, but it is only fair to state that there is no 
evidence beyond their opponents' charges to show that the societies 
were concerned therein. 

After the close of the war the society ceases to attract attention, 
although it lasted for some years in a moribund condition. "The 
ridiculous farce which has been got up for two or three years past, 
under the name of 'Washington Benevolence' has this year very 
properly been hissed off the stage," says the Boston Patriot, Feb- 
ruary 24, 18 16. "We saw no great nor little boys with fantastical 
wreaths and roses, no army with banners; no horses, mules, or 
asses." The same issue records "That the measure of their degrada- 
tion may be full to overflowing, we learn from Philadelphia that a 
Washington Benevolent Society for colored people has been there 

1 All the above orations are to be found in the remarkable pamphlet collec- 
tion of the American Antiquarian Society. See also oration of Andrew Bigelow, 
Cambridge, 1814; Lewis Bryce, Templeton, Vermont, 1813; L. Knapp, Newbury- 
port, Massachusetts, 181 2; Abiel Holmes, Cambridge, 1813. 

2 New Hampshire Patriot, March 29, 1814. Cf. April 5. "In the two upper 
districts of Coos County which border on the Province of Lower Canada, the 
most wicked and damnable treachery and intercourse has been practised with 
the enemy by the Washington Benevolents of that and other parts of the State." 

3 Vermont Republican, March 23, 1814; see also June 29, 1812. 

4 National Aegis, December 15, 1813. 

6 New Hampshire Gazette, September 21, 1813. 


instituted." The society of Windsor County, Vermont, had been 
advertised as "Dispersed and Strayed" some months earlier. 1 
The records of the Boston branch show that it practically ceased to 
exist as a society in 18 16. Occasional meetings of the standing 
executive committee are recorded at long intervals, until in 1824 
formal dissolution occurred, its property going to the Bunker Hill 
Monument Association. Little information is to be had about the 
large number of rural societies, although in Worcester County oc- 
casional notices of meetings and celebrations appear until 1819. 2 
The fact that no attention is paid them by the Republican press 
would indicate that they were wholly innocuous. 

A great change came over New England politics after the war. 
The bitterness which characterized the last two decades died out. 
When President Monroe visited New England in 181 7 it was re- 
corded by the Boston Patriot (July 9) that he seemed to have wholly 
allayed the storms of party. "People now meet in the same room 
who would before scarcely pass in the same street. ... It is found 
that citizens in opposite parties are not so unworthy reciprocal 
respect as before they were thought to be, and that each have quali- 
fications which entitle them to the esteem of the other." 

But the change has an even greater significance. The spirit of 
the Washington Benevolent Society is not that of nineteenth 
century Americanism. , Its railing at the admission of Western 
states, its blind devotion to foreign commerce, were as absurdly 
out of place in American politics as its badges, chaplets, and other 
mummery. With the war came a national spirit, pride in the achieve- 
ments of American arms, and confidence in the future of American 
institutions. Perhaps there is no better summary of the changes in 
progress than one which appeared while the war was still in progress, 
and which is presented as what "a true disciple of Washington" 
would have said to those who wished to honor his memory. "Our 
people had been intoxicated by trade. Englishmen, English books, 
English fashions, English games, and English vices were changing 
the character of our people; the war aroused us from lethargy." 
The nation was breaking asunder "those chains which in the form 
of manufactured goods were binding us to our oppressors." "A 
new, great permanent interest is arising in our country, in the per- 

1 Boston Patriot, August 5, 1815. 

2 Massachusetts Spy, May 20, 1818; March 31, November 4, December 29, 
1819. There is in the Massachusetts Historical Society a manuscript copy of 
the constitution of the Washington Benevolent Society for the County of Wor- 
cester, adopted in a meeting of delegates from the societies of Barre and Peter- 
sham, Winchendon, Athol, Templeton, Royalston and Westminster and Prince- 
ton, held at Templeton, March 5, 1813. 


sons of our raisers of wool, cotton, hemp, etc. and of our capitalists 
who are calling into activity all the arts and powers which genius 
has contrived for diminishing labor." Foreign commerce intoxi- 
cated, "our own great internal trade will not intoxicate; it will 
be natural, it will become habitual, and once fostered it will never 
decay. Our own lands, mines, forests, lakes, and rivers are now, 
instead of foreign countries, to be explored; all the profits will be 
our own; we shall have no risks or perils to insure against. . . . 
This is so plain, so just, so reasonable, and so American, that we 
need no gaudy parades, painted banners, white roses, sounding music, 
or theatrical machinery to fix it in the minds of our children." x 

Remarks were made during the meeting by Messrs. Wen- 
dell, Norcross, and Sanborn. 

1 Boston Patriot, May n, 1814. "Sallust." 



THE Annual Meeting was held on Thursday, the 13th in- 
stant, at three o'clock, p. m. The President and both 
Vice-Presidents being absent, the Society was called to order by 
the Recording Secretary, and Mr. Arthur Lord was chosen 
President pro tempore. 

The record of the last meeting was read and approved; and 
the Librarian read the list of donors to the Library during the 
past month. 

The Cabinet-Keeper reported gifts as follows: 

Portrait of Mrs. William Minns, of Boston, by Ethan Allen 
Greenwood; a portrait of Miss Jane Clark, daughter of Jona- 
than Clark, who married John Lewis, attributed to Hogarth, 
London, 1739, and which was brought to Groton, Mass., by 
her son Jonathan Clark Lewis; a portrait said to be of Fouc- 
quet; a painting, "The Vidette," by Grolleron, and an engrav- 
ing of Foucquet, by Nanteuil, 1661, from Miss Susan Minns; 
photograph of a portrait of James Lloyd, from Henry Cabot 
Lodge; photograph of Prof. George Martin Lane, about 1858, 
from Charles C. Smith; photograph of the capitol, Atlanta, 
Georgia, a lithograph of Libby Prison, 1863, seven wooden 
medallions of the Centennial Exposition, Philadelphia, 1876, 
six of the Chicago Exposition, 1893, the Liberty Bell Medal, 
and a Russian Yi kopeck, from Grenville H. Norcross; fifteen 
engravings of American generals and views, from Edwin H. 
Brigham; an English poster of the present war, from Henry 
H. Edes; a medallion of Washington Irving, by the St. Nicholas 
Society, New York, 1907, from Charles P. Greenough; Bow- 
doin College Phi Beta Kappa medals of Dr. David Humphreys 
Storer (class of 1822), from Miss A. M. Storer; medal of the 
Fusileer Veteran Association, from Capt. E. S. Anderson; the 
bronze Harvard-Pasteur medal, from Baron Pierre de Cou- 
bertin, of Paris, France; and a photograph of a portrait of 
James Lloyd, owned by Mr. William A. Jeffries, of Boston, and 
sixty-seven medals, store-cards, and badges, by purchase. 


The Corresponding Secretary reported the receipt of a letter 
from Charles Edwards Park accepting his election as a Resident 
Member of the Society. He also reported the receipt of a letter 
from the New Jersey Historical Society inviting the Society to 
send a delegate to the 250th anniversary of the founding of 
Newark on May i . It was voted that the selection of a delegate 
be left with the President pro tempore. 

The Editor said: 

A year ago I announced an important gift from Mr. William 
V. Kellen, of photographs of some six thousand documents in 
the State Archives bearing dates in the seventeenth century, and 
commented upon its great utility in supplementing original 
papers in the collections of the Society. I now record a like 
accession of photographic reproductions, being about a thou- 
sand pieces contained in the private collection of Mr. Charles 
P. Greenough. The privilege, generously accorded, of using 
in this manner the Massachusetts material in his gatherings of 
a lifetime gives to the Society copies of many interesting his- 
torical documents and of much that is curious and personal 
in illustration of our annals. While the wish may be ex- 
pressed that a part of the originals may eventually come into 
the safekeeping of a public institution in Massachusetts, 
these reproductions will at least preserve a record of them in 
a form serviceable to all interested. 

The Editor also reported the following gifts: 

From the Most Worshipful Grand Lodge of Ancient Free and 
Accepted Masons of the Commonwealth of Massachusetts, 
through Mr. Melville M. Johnson, Grand Master, the Journal 
of Samuel Grant, merchant in Boston, from November 25, 1728, 
to December 31, 1737, containing 637 pages; and the Journal 
of a shipping and merchandise firm in Boston, as yet unidenti- 
fied, running from May 2, 1763, to July 11, 1766, 440 pages. 
Unfortunately the first thirteen pages and some at the back of 
the volume have been lost. Mr. Johnson writes in his letter of 
gift: " These books contain frequent reference to men who were 
Freemasons, but they have a much wider interest, and it has 
seemed to me that they would be of more value in your library 
than upon our files. We therefore take pleasure in presenting 
these books to the Massachusetts Historical Society. " 


Samuel Grant is said to have been born in 1704. 1 He is 
known to have had a store in Union Street as early as 1736, 
known as the "Crown and Cushion," and lived in the rear of 
the store. He died November 14, 1784. He subscribed £50 
in 1748 to promote the linen manufacture, 2 and he was one of 
three to whom John Ellery (17 12-1746), of Hartford, left £200, 
"to be disposed of in pious and charitable uses as they should 
think would most redound to the glory of God." 3 He married, 
January 1, 1729, Elizabeth Cookson, 4 probably daughter of 
John Cookson. Mr. Grant bought in 1739 a dwelling house 
on Union Street, corner of Scott's Court (Friend Street), and in 
1744 received from John Cookson a "wooden tenement" ad- 
joining his property. His daughter, Elizabeth, married John 
Simpkins, August 30, 1764. A son Moses is frequently men- 
tioned in the town records. 

Mr. Johnson has also permitted the Society to retain a copy 
of a manuscript record of twenty-five pages of the first Provin- 
cial Lodge of Free-Masons in America, established at Boston, 
July 30, A. M. 5733 [1733]. This interesting record, in the writ- 
ing of Francis Beteilhe, the secretary of the Lodge, contains 
the application for and the establishment of the Lodge, its 
by-laws, its members, votes, etc., to 1736. It was bound with 
Franklin's issue of The Constitutions of the Free-Masons, 1734, 
one of the rarest of his imprints. When this volume was sold 
in the Brinley library, in 1880, the manuscript was erroneously 
believed to be that of Franklin. 

From Mr. Edward Gray, of Milton, letters and log-books of 
a voyage from Boston to Canton, China (1843), Hong Kong to 
Manila and return to Macao (1843), an d fr° m Canton to 
New York (1844), kept by Horace C. Story (1823-1847), a son 
of Franklin H. Story, and nephew of Justice Joseph Story. 

From the Dedham Historical Society, a manuscript copy (on 
paper with water mark " 18 15 ") of the constitution of the 
Washington Benevolent Society for the county of Worcester, 
Mass., society formed in 1813. 5 

1 The Boston Rec. Com., xxiv. 39, mentions the birth of a Samuel, son of Joseph 
and Mary Grant, October 13, 1705. 

2 N. E. Hist. Gen. Reg., xvi. 91; xuv. 324. 
8 lb., xlhi. 314. 

4 Boston Rec. Com., xxvm. 149. 
6 See p. 285 »., supra. 


From H. de F. Lockwood, of Boston, a number of papers of 
the Low family, of Wells, York County, Maine, comprising 
deeds, commissions and notes. 

From Grace Williamson Edes (Mrs. Henry H. Edes), British 
letters patent issued in 1874 to Alexander Melville Clark, of 
London, covering improvements in automatic chemical tele- 
graphs; together with a transfer, dated 1875, of all his rights 
by Clark to William Edward Sawyer of Washington, D. C. 
The great seal is perfect, being enclosed in a tin box, and the 
papers in the usual shagreen box. A similar document is framed 
and hung in the Patent Room, Boston Public Library. 

From Francis J. Garrison, a letter from a professional slave- 
catcher of Carlisle, Pa., as follows: 

Carlisle, [Pa.,] March 25th, 1856. 

Friend Seed, — Dear Sir. I Received your Dispatch you want 
to know if it will Pay. i say yes it will Pay $40.00 any how and 
probly more Mr Fieny wants them caught Bad. 

he Lives in Clear Spring M. D. they lost them in Harrisburg. 
they say that the intention of the Blacks ware to go to Philadelphia, 
i cannot give you an acarate Discription of em i have not got the 
Bill yet But will send it asson as i get it. there are three men one 
Slave woman and one free woman in the Party and 2 children the 
[one] at the Breast and the other older, the one man has on a Brawn 
Coat and Black hat hair long curled under the 2 children Light 
Molotta if you find them Just Spot them and let me know and i 
will Fetch the master on with me we can make a good thing of it 

You will get more Particluars when i get them Yours truly 

Joseph Stuart. 

Thomas Russell Sullivan, of Boston, was elected a Resident 
Member of the Society; and George Macaulay Trevelyan, of 
England, a Corresponding Member. 

The chairman announced the death of James Burrill Angell, 
a Corresponding Member. 

The Society then proceeded with the business of the Annual 
Meeting. The Recording Secretary read the following report, 
prepared by the senior Member-at-Large of the Council, Mr. 
Charles P. Greenough, who was absent. 


Report of the Council. 

The meeting commemorative of our late President, Charles 
Francis Adams, was held by the Society in the First Church in 
Boston, on the afternoon of November 17. The memorial ad- 
dress was made by Hon. Henry Cabot Lodge, the invocation 
by Rev. George Angier Gordon, and the benediction by Rev. 
Charles Edwards Park. The church was filled in every part, 
and the occasion was marked by great dignity, simplicity and 

The Society also lost by death its second Vice-President, 
Hon. John D. Long. 

The Society closes another year — its one hundred and 
twenty-fifth — in full confidence of maintaining its position as 
a depository of historical records and of continuing its publica- 
tions of material in a manner most useful to the historian. Its 
collections have increased by gift and by purchase. Additions 
have been made to its files of Massachusetts newspapers of the 
colonial period, and the acquisition of an almost complete file 
of the Portsmouth (N. H.) Oracle, 1 793-1901, gives it a good 
political record of a sister New England State for that period. 
By confining its attention to early Massachusetts newspapers 
it competes less with libraries buying more generally in time 
and in space; and this concentration enables it to obtain what 
would otherwise be scattered in a number of institutions. In 
its peculiar field of collecting — manuscripts — the Society 
has gained by gifts. The notable Lopez-Ayrault-Champlin 
collection, presented by a corresponding member, Hon. George 
Peabody Wetmore; the papers of Charles Deane, given by his 
children, and the photostatic reproductions of the early docu- 
ments and letters in the State Archives, presented by Mr. 
Kellen, may be named. The total comprises thousands of 
pieces of historical interest, increasing the value of the material 
already in the Society by much more than mere numbers indi- 
cate. During the coming year it is expected that a list of the 
larger collections will be prepared, not by individual pieces but 
as collections, to serve as a general guide to what is in our pos- 
session. It is safe to say that nowhere in New England does 
there exist so large and so rich an aggregation of colonial papers 


of a historical character, not even in the combined archives of 
the New England States. 

The Society has issued during the year a volume of Proceedings 
(xlviii in the series) and the second volume of the Commerce 
of Rhode Island, 1 775-1800. This latter volume, closing the 
Seventh Series (vol. lxx), was printed through the generosity of 
Senator Wetmore. It did not contain the customary index of 
the ten volumes in the Seventh Series, as the reason for such an 
index passed with the elaborate indexing of individual volumes, 
but little related to one another in contents. In the coming 
year it is planned to issue a volume of Proceedings, and one of 
Collections, being the "Adams- Warren letters," a correspond- 
ence between John Adams and James Warren during the War 
for Independence. The late Mr. Frederick L. Gay had arranged 
to share the expense of a volume on Captain William Phips's 
search for treasure in the Bahamas, the material for which 
would come from his rich collection of transcripts from British 
sources. This arrangement will be carried into effect, Mrs. 
Gay having generously expressed such a wish. 

Mention should be made of the Autobiography of Charles 
Francis Adams, prepared in the latter years of his life to serve 
as the material for a memoir, and left to the Society with full 
powers of publication. The character of the work demanded 
something more than a publication in the Collections of the 
Society, and it has appeared through the publishing house of 
Houghton Mifflin Company, but in a form which enables it to 
be placed with the issues of the Society. The volume also in- 
cluded Mr. Lodge's memorial address. , - 

The photostat has been in constant use during the year and 
is justifying the expense involved. The number of prints, 
taken in the twelve months was 20,000, and had a wide distri- 
bution. The reproduction of the Boston News-Letter has now 
been carried to the end of 17 14, giving ten years of the first 
newspaper to be regularly issued in an English colony in North 
America. The 436 numbers reproduced include every known 
issue of the journal and sets have been placed in subscribing 
institutions. This rich material is made available for the first 
time to Massachusetts as well as Wisconsin and Washington 
(D. C). It is the intention to continue the reproduction in the 
coming year so as to carry it to the end of 1726. 

1 9 i 6.] REPORT OF THE COUNCIL. 293 

The Society has also reproduced its unique file of the Georgia 
Gazette, from No. 1, April 7, 1763, to No. 346, May 23, 1773, 
upwards of 1450 pages. The two series of newspapers reproduced 
comprise a total of 782 issues, an achievement in itself worthy 
of notice. For the first time so long a series of colonial news- 
papers has been reproduced by any process, the most exten- 
sive undertakings of the past being four years of the American 
Weekly Mercury (Philadelphia, 1 719-1723) and the Newport 
Mercury, begun by the John Carter Brown Library. What this 
Society has already accomplished in this direction thus gives 
it a position in the very front. 

The Society has gained by the instrument in photostats of 
broadsides, manuscripts and newspapers needed to complete 
its collections, and arrangements for exchanging material are 
being extended wherever an opportunity is offered. From the 
New York Historical Society were obtained prints of all the 
Massachusetts broadsides in its collections, and from Mr. Wen- 
dell prints of an important collection of Wendell-Quincy letters 
temporarily in his custody. The records of the Lincolnshire 
Company (in what is now Maine), 17 20-1 785, have also been 
secured in this form, as well as some thousand individual pieces 
from various sources. Missing pages and even an entire number 
of a serial publication have been reproduced to complete im- 
perfect volumes or series. The difficulty lies more in meeting 
the demands made upon the instrument and its operator than 
in discovering objects worthy of the attention of the Society. 

For the advantage is not confined to the Society. The nota- 
ble achievement of Dr. Charles L. Nichols, of Worcester, in 
assembling negatives of sixty-five almanacs printed in Massa- 
chusetts before 1700,' enabled him to offer sets in photostatic 
form to libraries. The printing was done in this Society, and 
with creditable results. The success of this undertaking opens 
a field for like series of related issues of the colonial press, great 
rarities, often existing in a single known copy. Much has also 
been done on orders from other parts of the country, even from 
California, for the reproduction of books, essays, prints, maps, 
manuscript and broadsides needed by scholars, collectors and 
investigators. This service is of the best, for it removes the risk 
of total loss should accident befall a unique original, and it 
enables any individual or institution to obtain the second best 


form of the subject — a photographic reproduction, at a low 

The war has made itself felt in this field of the Society's ac- 
tivities, for the situation in the chemical industry has compelled 
a resort to substitutes of less efficiency and greatly increased 
cost. These difficulties are being met so far as is possible with 
the expert operation of the machine, but it is at an increased 
expense in money and in waste of material. The Society has 
received from the manufacturers every facility for solving the 
problems thus entailed, and hope is expressed of an end to them 
in the current year. 

In the matter of collecting, the Society maintains its recog- 
nized policy. Receptive to what comes to it by gift, it seeks to 
complete its holdings by purchase, but without coming into 
competition with other institutions or catering to inflated values 
prevalent in the book markets. It has no jealousy of the growth 
of other libraries and collections, for the time is past when 
such a feeling can be justified. The liberal management of the 
present day places at its call the best that can be found in 
public and private possession, and this mutual aid and good 
understanding bear fruit to all concerned. The Society seeks 
to make what it has of service to the public, and no material is 
sealed except when deposited for safe-keeping and the owners 
insist upon such a restriction. Its photostat serves the public 
before meeting its own demands and the quality of service is 
gained at its own expense. In this consists the Society's tribute 
to scholarship and investigation, which it can well afford to pay. 
It is gathering a library of historical publications, limited in 
scope but supplemented by its manuscript wealth. The refer- 
ence library has been materially strengthened. 

The want of space is a problem of increasing moment and can 
only be solved in a satisfactory manner by the construction of 
stacks on the unoccupied lot owned by the Society. There are 
no spaces available for new shelving, such necessities as map 
and print cases can find no location, and the walls offer little for 
paintings. The weight upon the upper story cannot be increased 
with safety to the building, and the cellar space is fully utilized. 
There is no room for receiving and assorting material, and the 
catalogue case is as full as its antique and awkward shape and 
location permit. The want of a reading and consulting room, 


properly furnished and lighted, is also to be noted as among the 
desirables. There is not a reader's table in the whole building, 
and there is no room in which a student may be placed where he 
will be assured from noise and interruption. It is a curious 
situation, in which the Society serves the outsider better than 
it does its members. The inquirer who is not a member has 
every facility for seeing what he wants and of using the various 
collections freely. There is little to tempt members to frequent 
the rooms and indulge their taste in reading or study. A 
quasi-public institution, its public functions and services are 
greater than those of a private nature. 

The Society is not in a position to beg, but it is always so 
placed that it can use larger funds than are now available. The 
gaps in its collections, the large quantity of unbound material, 
printed and manuscript, the reproduction of rarities when an 
unusual opportunity occurs, the sharing of its advantages with 
other institutions, its coins and pictures, and its publications — 
all make demands upon the income of the Society, and almost 
any one item named will give a field for useful expenditure be- 
yond the sum now assigned to it. Then there is the future 
question of enlarging the building by an already much needed 
book stack and portrait gallery. At some time in the near 
future the larger wants will be met, and present aid, however 
moderate, will help to meet the situation. To the liberality of 
members and to a wise management of the funds in the past the 
Society owes its present strong position. No reason exists for 
not expecting a like generosity and good management in the 
future, and upon a still larger scale. 

Report op the Treasurer. 

In presenting his annual report on the finances of the Society 
Mr. Lord said: 

I desire to make a brief statement of the financial condition 
of the Society, supplementing what is set forth in detail in the 
Treasurer's report submitted in print to-day. 

The property of the Society other than its Books and Collec- 
tions may be divided conveniently as follows: 

1. The Land and Buildings, which stand on the books at 
$97,990.32 and are valued by the City Assessors at $196,000. 


2. The Investments of the Society are carried on the books, 
as appears in the Investment Account, Exhibit I of the Treas- 
urer's Report, at $482,326.39. Of this sum the two centenary 
funds amount to $69,320.18, of which amount $63,800.98 is the 
principal of the Sibley Centenary Fund and $5, 5 19. 20 the Anony- 
mous Fund. Under the terms of the bequests the income of 
these funds must be added to the principal until the expiration 
of one hundred years from their receipt, or, in the case of the 
Sibley Centenary Fund, the year 2002, and in the case of the 
Anonymous Fund, the year 1991. 

The gross income of the Society from all sources the past 
year was $32,040.93, of which $24,774.35 was the income of the 
invested funds. From this gross income must be deducted the 
income of the two centenary funds, which under the terms of 
the gifts are to be added annually to the principal, amounting to 
$3,300.96, and leaving a balance of income available for all 
purposes of $28,739.97. 

The expenditures were $27,344.89, leaving a balance of in- 
come over expenditures for the year of $1,395.08. The Society 
has received no money gift or bequest during the past year. 

The expenses of operating the photostat during the year 
were $3,326, and the sale of copies of manuscripts and news- 
papers was $2,871 — an apparent deficit of $455. The Society 
has, however, gained largely in prints for its own collections, 
to the number of some thousands. 


In compliance with the requirements of the By-Laws, Chap- 
ter VII., Article 2, the Treasurer respectfully submits his 
Annual Report, made up to March 31, 1916. 

The special funds now held by the Treasurer are thirty in 
number. A list of these funds, with the income and expendi- 
ture of each fund the past year, appears in Exhibit V in this 
report. An account of twenty-nine of these funds, giving a 
brief history of each fund, will be found in the Treasurer's 
Report for the year ending March 31, 19 10 {Proceedings, 
xliii. 529); the thirtieth is described in the Treasurer's Re- 
port for the year ending March 31, 191 1 {Proceedings, xliv. 
568). The securities held by the Treasurer as investments 
on account of the above-mentioned funds are as follows: 





Schedule of Bonds. 

Chicago & West Michigan R. R. Co. 

Chicago & North Michigan R. R. Co. 

Rio Grande Western R. R. Co. 

Cincinnati, Dayton & Ironton R. R. 

Atchison, Topeka & Santa Fe" R. R. 

Atchison, Topeka & Santa Fe" R. R. 

Chicago Jet. & Union Stock Yards 

Oregon Short Line R. R. Co. 

Oregon Short Line R. R. Co. 

Boston & Maine R. R. Co. 

American Tel. & Tel. Co. 

Northern Pacific & Gt. Northern R. R. 

Long Island R. R. Co. 

New York Central & Hudson River R. R. 

Bangor & Aroostook R. R. Co. 

Detroit, Grand Rapids & Western R. R. 

Fitchburg R. R. Co. 

Kansas City, Clinton & Springfield R. R. 

Lowell, Lawrence & Haverhill St. R. R. 

Washington Water Power Co. 

United Electric Securities 

Blackstone Valley Gas & Elec. Co. 

Western Tel. & Tel. Co. 

Seattle Electric Co. 

Detroit Edison Co. 

U. S. Steel Corporation 

Boston Elevated Railway 

New England Tel. & Tel. Co. 

Connecticut Power Co. 

Boston & Albany R. R. 

Cleveland Short Line R. R. 

Arlington Gas Light Co. 

United Elec, Lt. & Power Co. 

Wilmington City Electric Co. 

City of New York 

City of Cleveland 

Old Colony Gas Co. 

Dedham Water Co. 

United Zinc & Chemical Co. 

(with 60 shares pfd., and 60 common) 

















[995 "adjustment' 

' 9,000.00 













4% 1 




[921 "joint" 














4% ^ 



5% 1 



5% i 








5% 1 



5% 1 



5% 1 



5% 1 



5% 1 



5% 1 



5% 1 



5% ] 



5% i 



4*% ^ 



5% 3 



4*% ^ 



5% 1 



6% ] 



5% 1 









5% ^ 


Par value 




Schedule of Stocks. 

50 Merchants National Bank, Boston $5,000.00 

50 National Union Bank, Boston 5,000.00 

50 Second National Bank, Boston 5,000.00 

50 National Shawmut Bank, Boston 5,000.00 

35 Boston & Albany R. R. Co 3,500.00 

25 Old Colony R. R. Co 2,500.00 

25 Fitchburg R. R. Co. Pfd. .* 2,500.00 

150 Chicago Jet. Rys. & Union Stock Yards Co. Pfd 15,000.00 

75 American Smelting & Refining Co. Pfd 7,500.00 

158 Atchison, Topeka & Santa Fe R. R. Co. Pfd 15,800.00 

302 Kansas City Stock Yards Co. Pfd 30,200.00 

10 Cincinnati Gas & Electric Co 1,000.00 

6 Boston Real Estate Trust 6,000.00 

5 State Street Exchange 500.00 

120 Pacific Mills 12,000.00 

52 Puget Sound Traction Light and Power Co. Pfd 5,200.00 

5 " " " " " " " Common . . . 500.00 

50 American Telephone & Telegraph Co 5,000.00 

1218 Shares Par value $127,200.00 

Schedule of Savings Bank Books. 

M. A. Parker Fund $1,214.73 

Brattle St. Church Model Fund 211.35 



Bonds, par value $382,500.00 

Stocks, par value 127,200.00 

Savings Bank Books 1,426.08 


Represented by Balance, Investment account $482,326.39 

The balance sheet follows and shows the present condition 
of the several accounts: 




Balance Sheet, March 31, 19 16. 

Investment Account, Funds, Exhibit III . 

Exhibit I $482,326.39 Accumulated Income 

Cash on hand, Exhibit II 9,688.25 Funds, Exhibit IV . 






Investment Account. 

Balance April 1, 1915 $480,817.22 

Bought during year: 

$10,000 Chicago Jet. & Union Stock Yards, 5%, 

1940 $9>9i9-44 

5,000 Dedham Water Co., 1st Mortgage, 5% 1935 5,050.00 

50 Shares American Tel. & Tel. Co 6,400.00 

Accrued Interest M. A. Parker Savings Bank Book . 47.14 
" " Brattle St. Church Model Bank Book. 8.20 

Total Additions, Exhibit II 21,424.78 


Securities matured, etc.: 

$13,000 Chicago Jet. & Union Stock Yards 

6,000 West End Street Railway Co. . 

Liquidation State National Bank . . . 

" National Bank of Commerce 

Total Deduction, Exhibit II . . . 




Balance, March 31, 1916 $482,326.39 


Cash Account. 

Balance on hand, April i, 1915 $6,501.38 

Receipts during year to March 31, 1916: 

Sales by Library: 

Publications $848.35 

Photostat 2,871.42 

Duplicates 3,253.64 

Bindery 69.25 

Royalties, Little, Brown & Co 9.88 $7,052.54 

Rebates .60 

Credited to General Fund Income 7,053.14 

Interest on Bank Balances 213.44 

" on Savings Bank Books 55-34 

Income from Investments 24,719.01 

Total 24,987.79 

Total credited to Income of Funds, Exhibit V 32,040.93 

Securities matured, etc 19,915.61 

Charges during year to March 31, 1916: 

Investment Account, Securities bought $21,369.44 

Savings Bank Interest 55-34 

Total additions, Exhibit I $21,424.78 

Income Account: 

Bindery, Wages $1,143.02 

Supplies 272-35 $i,4i5.37 

Binding, outside 178.70 

Books, Pamphlets, Newspapers, and Mss. 2,306.34 

Cleaning $324.60 

Engineer 1,046.54 

Fuel 525.00 

Furniture 146.15 

Insurance 1,050.00 

Light 251.61 

Repairs 966.02 

Telephone 106.53 4,416.45 

Photostat 1 3,326.33 

Portraits and Medals 265.02 

Postage 144.04 

Carry forward $12,052.25 $21,424.78 $58,457,92 

1 For receipts, see above. 


Cash Account — Continued. 

Brought forward $12,052.25 $21,424.78 $58,45792 


Proceedings, vol. 48 ... . $1,530.31 
11 49 ... . 470.17 
Illustrations and Reprints 582.50 
Rhode Island Commerce . 147.71 
Sibley's Harv. Grad. IV . 187.00 
Phips Volume 2.29 2,919.98 

Miscellaneous 231.25 

Librarian's Assistants . . . $4,537.00 
Editor and Assistant . . . 6,080.00 10,617.00 

Stationery 90.10 

Treasurer's office: 

Bond $25.00 

Bookkeeper 600.00 

Safety Vault 50.00 

Certified Public Accountant 25.00 700.00 


Insurance, Employers Liability $60.40 
American Bibliography . . . 100.00 

Memorial Meeting 109.17 

Other Expenses 464.74 734-31 

Charged Income of Funds, Exhibit V . 27,344.89 

Total Payments 48,769.67 

Balance on hand, March 31, 1916 $9,688.25 


Increase of Funds in Year 1915-1916. 

Amount of Funds, April 1, 191 5 $439,889.87 

Added during year: 
Additions to Centenary Funds: 

Anonymous Fund $262.82 

J. L. Sibley Fund 3,038.14 3,300.96 

Total of Funds, March 31, 1916 $443,190.83 


Accumulated Income of Funds. 

Balance Accumulated Income, April 1, 1915 $47,428.73 

Income during year, Exhibit II 32,040.93 

Expenditures, Exhibit II 27,344.89 

Less additions to Centenary Funds 3,300.96 

Balance, March 31, 1916 $48,823.81 





Income and Expenditures op Funds for the 

Year Ending 

March 31, 1916. 









of Funds 







Appleton . . . 






Bigelow . . . 






Billings . . . 






Brattle St. . . 

103. 15 




Chamberlain . 






Dowse .... 












Frothingham . 






General . . . 






Hunnewell . . 





Lawrence . . 





Lowell .... 






Mass. Hist. Trus 




411. 17 



Parker .... 






Peabody . . . 






Salisbury . . 






Savage . . . 






C. A. L. Sibley 






J. L. Sibley . 






Slafter .... 






Waterston No. 1 






Waterston No. 2 






Waterston No. 3 





Waterston Library 





R. C. Winthrop . 






T. L. Winthrop . 


137 19 




Wm. Winthrop . 





" 5,000.00 

Balance, Mar. 31, 1915 
General Income . . . 

" Expenditures . 

" Balance . . . 
Sibley Centenary . . 





Anonymous Centenary 
Total Income, 1916 . 

Total Funds, March 31 

, 1916. . . 






The income for the year derived from the investments and 
credited to the several funds in proportion to the amount in 
which they stand on the Treasurer's books was nearly six per 
cent on the funds. 

The real estate, which is entirely unencumbered, stands on 
the books at $97,990.32, and in former reports has been 
carried at this sum and balanced by the items. 

Building Fund $72,990.32 

Ellis House 25,000.00 

These items will not be carried hereafter in the annual 
Balance Sheet as the funds are not invested in securities but 
have been expended in the erection of the Society's building. 
The aggregate amount of the permanent funds including unex- 
pended balances represented by securities at par and deposits 
is $511,126.08, as per schedules of investments given above. 


Boston, April 1, 1916. Treasurer. 

Report of the Auditing Committee. 

The undersigned, a Committee appointed to examine the accounts 
of the Treasurer of the Massachusetts Historical Society as made 
up to April 1, 1916, have attended to that duty, and report that 
they find that the securities held by the Treasurer for the several 
funds correspond with the statement in his Annual Report. 

They have engaged the services of Mr. Gideon M. Mansfield, a 
Certified Public Accountant, who reports to them that he finds the 
accounts correctly kept and properly vouched, that the balance of 
cash on hand is satisfactorily accounted for, and that the trial bal- 
ance is accurately taken from the ledger. 



Boston, April 5, 1916. 


Report of the Librarian. 

The Librarian reports that during the last two years there 

have been added to the Library: 

1915 1916 

Books 1,502 910 

Pamphlets 1,056 1,436 

Manuscripts, bound 43 84 

Broadsides 178 54 

Maps 35 10 

Total 2,814 2,494 

In the collection of Manuscripts there are now 1,486 volumes. 
In the Rebellion Collection there are now 3,545 volumes, 
6,623 pamphlets, 510 broadsides, and n 1 maps. 

The Library is estimated to contain 58,586 volumes, 119,441 
pamphlets, and 5440 broadsides. 

Samuel A. Green, 


Report of the Cabinet-Keeper. 

The additions to the Cabinet of the Society have been re- 
ported each month at the meetings and are set forth in detail 
in the Proceedings. It seems unnecessary to repeat them here. 

The Curator of coins and medals, Dr. Storer, has been active 
in increasing the collction in his charge, and has added during 
the past year 142 pieces, of which 112 pertain to Massachusetts. 

The collection now numbers in all 11,018 pieces, 1,311 being 
Massachusetts specimens. This is the largest Massachusetts 
collection known. 

Grenville H. Norcross, 

April 13, 1916. 

Report of the Committee on the Library and Cabinet. 

We were met at the Historical Rooms by the Cabinet-Keeper, 
the Curator of Coins, and the Assistant Librarian, who extended 
to us every opportunity to examine the building and its con- 


The Cabinet collections, which are well cared for and well 
catalogued, are crowded into so small a room that it is not 
possible to see and appreciate how many valuable and unique 
articles are in the possession of the Society. When the oppor- 
tunity arises, they should be transferred into a large room where 
they can be shown to advantage. The present impression to 
the visitor is one of great confusion. 

The collection of coins and medals, originally belonging to the 
Society, with the Appleton and Adams gifts, is one of the most 
important in the country, and is being strengthened by acces- 
sions from time to time. As regards Massachusetts, it is par- 
ticularly valuable. From every point of view, this collection 
cannot under existing conditions be properly cared for. The 
articles are kept in a room with old-fashioned wooden cases 
wholly unsuited to proper arrangement or safety. There are 
no labels which will permit them to be exhibited and no proper 
catalogue to aid the visitor in obtaining the most superficial 
knowledge of the extent of the collection, though proper listing 
is now being done under the best auspices. Metal cases of the 
most approved models, for exhibition purposes and for safety 
against fire, should be purchased; but before doing so a careful 
study should be made of what has been done in other institu- 
tions such as the American Numismatic Society in New York, 
the State Library of Connecticut and the Essex Institute at 

The present catalogue cases came from the old building. They 
were built from a design, peculiar to this Society, for a special 
size of card, which is too small to contain an adequate record of 
a book title or a fair calendar of a manuscript. New standard 
cases should be purchased at once, future entries should be 
made upon proper sized cards, and the old catalogue cards 
should be made to conform gradually with the new cases. 
One great advantage will result, that the printed cards issued 
by the Library of Congress can be purchased at small cost for 
such books as are found in our collections. The wooden book- 
cases and furniture near the catalogue case are a menace on 
account of fire. The initial expense of this change will be 
small and means lasting economy and gain in service. 

For more than a century the Society accumulated books, 
pamphlets, manuscripts and newspapers, but did little toward 


putting them into permanent form. Perhaps this is as well, for 
in those days the methods were bad. Books and pamphlets 
were ruthlessly trimmed, large numbers of pamphlets were 
made into volumes, irrespective of size or contents, and the 
leather used on books and manuscripts has proved of no per- 
manent value. For five years the Society has had its own bind- 
ery wherein modern methods, adopted both here and abroad, 
have been applied in dealing with books, pamphlets, manu- 
scripts and newspapers. The following valuable collections 
have been placed in perfect condition: French, 28 vols.; Lee- 
Cabot, 23 vols.; Wetmore, 21 vols.; Robbins-Cofrm, 12 vols.; 
Amory-Sullivan, 10 vols. ; Dwight Foster, 8 vols. ; and twenty- 
six volumes of minor collections — in all 128 volumes, con- 
taining thousands of manuscripts. In addition 52 rare manu- 
scripts have been separately bound and a number provided 
with solander cases. Among the earlier newspapers, the 
Boston News-Letter (i 704-1 748) has been bound in fifteen vol- 
umes; the New England Weekly Journal (1 727-1 741), in five, 
and the Georgia Gazette (1 763-1 770), in eight. It is only when 
thus bound, arranged and placed on shelves that a proper cata- 
logue can be made. Buckram has been generally adopted, but 
leather has been used for the more valuable documents, though 
the present price of fine leather necessarily restricts its use. 
The bindery is now able to do on a small scale all that is neces- 
sary in the art of binding. An expenditure of six hundred dollars 
should be made for machines and tools to develop this work. 

The basement has a room now filled with publications issued 
by the United States and the different States, which have no 
historical value, are never used and are so shelved that they 
could not be easily found even if required. Once a depository 
of United States documents, the Society long since abandoned 
the privilege. This well-nigh useless mass of material should 
be disposed of by sale or exchange, as whatever is of value has 
been placed on shelves. In other parts of the building books of 
no value should be also sold or^ exchanged. By doing this the 
congested condition would be relieved and the danger from 
fire in the basement would be greatly reduced. 

The Society possesses the largest collections of Massachu- 
setts colonial newspapers on file in any one place, and has re- 
ceived in the past many valuable volumes of early newspapers 


printed in other States. During the past year it was suggested 
to some other institutions that a movement be begun to con- 
solidate, with our collections, the many scattered numbers of 
these Massachusetts newspapers, so that our Society should be 
the custodian of the most perfect files obtainable. Our Society 
offered to give a full reproduction by photostat to any library 
willing to do this, and to abandon entirely by exchange or gift 
its broken files of " foreign" newspapers. The proposition was 
met by objections, such as the confusion arising from changing 
a " known location" of a given volume, and the strong feeling 
that each library should retain the originals. These objec- 
tions do not appear sound. The advantage to be gained by a 
redistribution of such material is unquestioned, and must 
appeal in time to those interested in specialized collections. 
The only question is how the exchange can be made with justice 
to all concerned. 

In view of the many valuable collections belonging to or de- 
posited with the Society, there can be no doubt that the entire 
building should be made fireproof. This would mean the re- 
building of the interior, which, owing to expense, does not seem 
possible at present. As soon as a proper fireproof stack for. 
books, pamphlets, etc., can be built upon our vacant lot, the 
congestion of the present building would be relieved, the op- 
portunities for exhibiting our priceless pictures and historical 
collections would be increased and the danger from fire les- 
sened. The work of fireproofing is being gradually done satis- 

William C. Endicott, 
Lincoln W. Kinnicutt, 
Henry G. Pearson. 


Mr. Winthrop, for the Committee to nominate officers for 
the ensuing year, made a report, upon which a ballot was taken. 
The officers are as follows: 





Recording Secretary. 

Corresponding Secretary. 





Members at Large of the Council. 






Mr. Bigelow read the following paper on 

The Old Jury. 

[The following paper is concerned with' the Old Jury only 
as a link in the chain of the history of evidence.] 

With men of the Middle Age truth was unconfined. Just as 
the open objective world reached far "beyond the utmost 
purple rim" of sense and observation, so the occult, subjective 
world, unobservable to modern men, had unbounded extent, 
throughout and everywhere, as real as things within physical 
observation. Lines which we draw they indeed drew, but only 
as marking off one realm of reality from another. To most men 
of the Middle Age the methods and purposes of modern science 
would have been meaningless; they could not have lived our 
life any more than we could live theirs. The first Bacon was 
"unheard" in his day; no one understood him. 

Nor is this to be set down altogether to the disadvantage of 
our ancestors. In the sphere of government, certainly not one 
of the least of things, Anglo-Saxon and Anglo-Norman were 
perhaps as successful as we moderns are. Guilt hardly dared 
to play with the old law; open guilt not backed by power could 
not delay the feet of justice, and secret guilt on trial felt and 
feared the Unseen. Face to face with the frowns and terrors 
of what was held for reality, the wrongdoer, who alone knew 
the truth, was likely to feel an added sense of guilt, and tremble 
and fail in the trial of endurance. Men of old knew their psy- 
chology — knew that psychology was a good detective. They 
knew that a man could not get rid of himself, and they under- 
took to forward the crisis. 1 

But the meaning of fact, together with the way of deciding it 
when in doubt, was peculiar to an age that did not under- 
stand methods of investigating truth. A bar lies there be- 
tween all earlier times and the present, a bar which cannot be 
removed; but it explains much. 

The Anglo-Norman jury was no exception; like the ordeal 
and the duel, this too was a mode of trial, not a proceeding in 

1 "It is the unknown that terrifies," says a writer in the Manchester Guardian. 
True, but guilt will give way to it more readily than integrity. That was the old 
theory. The social man is stronger than the anti-social man, or society could not 

igi6.] THE OLD JURY. 311 

which evidence in the modern sense played its part; so it was 
down to about the fifteenth century. Still trial by jury differed 
from other modes in that it was not a party test. The trial was 
by submission to the decision of (in theory) an impartial body, 
the common juries being sworn to speak the truth "according 
to their knowledge." But that should not be read as language 
of to-day or yesterday; the old jurors' " knowledge" was not 
the net result of open investigation in court, as in modern times, 
through the sifting of evidence offered there. This is true even 
of the grand assise (for trying the right of property in freehold 
lands), where the jury was sworn to speak the truth "pre- 
cisely," without adding "of their own knowledge. 1 " 

The old jury trial was not, in any case, "one-sided," as were 
the other modes of the time. That was gain; but the duty to 
speak the truth, whether of "knowledge" or "precisely," was 
both actual and potential gain of the highest — for that covers 
the whole field of evidence. Unfortunately the potential gain 
was not fulfilled; reform fell short in what is now regarded as 
of the essence of sound method, 2 and that too even in relation 
to impartiality. 3 Indeed, as we have already intimated, such 

1 The psychology is lame, but the meaning is clear. To deprive a man of his 
freehold was a serious thing, and was not to be done upon mere beliefs. Common 
juries might " think" so and so; the grand assise must be positive. Y. B. 30 and 31, 
Edw. I. 116; Y. B. 11 and 12, Edw. III. 338; Y. B. 12 and 13, Edw. III. 4; 
12 Lib. Ass. 34, 12; 23 Lib. Ass. 11 — all cited by Thayer, Evidence, 100, 101, of 
witnesses, common juries and the grand assise. The accusing jury was sworn 
simply to "speak the truth." Assise of Clarendon, c. 1. 

2 This is true, though it is also true, as Thayer, Evidence, 500, says, that "all 
the rest," after the witnesses have testified to what they have seen and heard, 
the ordinary jurors "themselves were to furnish, such as general knowledge, 
hearsay, their own private knowledge, including hearsay and inferences from it, 
and the reasoning and conclusions involved in comparing and digesting all that 
they knew or had heard from others." But it must be remembered that there 
was no open, public examination and searching of testimony, except in special 
cases. Thayer, of course, does not mean to suggest that evidence in the modern 
sense was had in the courts; he has pointed out the contrary more than once. 
"When jury trial, or rather proof of jury, as it originally was," etc. Evidence, 
502, ib., 105. Maitland, Pleas of Crown for Gloucester (a. d. 1221), Introd. XL., 
xli. See also Brunner, Schw. 36: " Anbetracht dessen kann die altere Civil jury 
nicht als Urteil Jury, sondern nur als Beweisjury bezeichnet werden." But that 
that was true, and true in the very face of suggestion and example pointing to 
modern ideas, deserves to be made clear. 

3 The result in the common jury cases was from the first mainly in the hands 
of one man; the sheriff selected the jury, the parties being present, if they chose, 
for the purpose of challenge. See Glanvill, Lib. 13, cc. 5, 12, 14, 15. The sheriff 


reform was not thought of. The old English jury had an open 
field, but that was a rank expanse scarcely touched by the 
ploughshare of investigation. 

Certain facts which may appear to be opposed to this remark 
should be considered; some of these pertain to preliminary 
proceedings in jury trials, some to the trial itself. 

Preliminary arrangements for civil causes related to the 
secta, while that was yet a required part in litigation; here the 
judges might, and upon challenge of the men always did, in- 
quire into their competency, to whatever extent they chose. But 
this was the end of the business; either the men, or some of 
them, were rejected, which would require a new secta in whole 
or in part, or the men were accepted, and the case went on to 
trial. The only opportunity remaining was that of examining 
the jurors, upon challenge; of that presently. 

Similarly in the preliminary proceedings for criminal prose- 
cution under the Assise of Clarendon (1166), 1 that is, in making 
up the accusing jury or accusation by " public voice" 2 — the 
grand jury of modern times — it appears to have been the reg- 
ular course for the judges to make diligent inquiry into the quali- 
fication of the jurors. Glanvill, speaking of the assise, says of 
such cases that the judges were required to make inquiry into 
the truth of the accusation, by many and various questions, 
considering indications and conjectures, making for or against 
the accused. 3 

thus took the place of the party in the other tests. What that might mean has 
been intimated, infra, 314W; it speaks plainly enough to the question of impartial 
investigation, and the removal of sheriffs wholesale by Henry the Second em- 
phasizes the point. Inquest of Sheriffs, 11 70; Stubbs, Select Charters, 147-150. 
In the grand assise the four knights chose the jury, the parties having the right 
of challenge. London jurors in the civil assises might be challenged for par- 
tiality through collusion and examined. Liber Albus, 1. 447. This was no doubt 
only a special example. 

1 Stubbs, Select Charters, 140. See Ethelred, 111., c. 3, Select Charters, 72 (978- 
1016). Trial under the Assise of Clarendon, i. e., by indictment, was not exclu- 
sive; the ancient procedure by appeal was not affected by it. The appeal was 
not abolished until 1819. 59 Geo. 3, c. 46. Evidence played little part under 
either procedure. 

2 As distinguished from the "certus accusator," in appeals, Glanvill, infra. 

8 "Per multas et varias inquisitiones et interrogationes coram justiciis facien- 
das inquiretur rei Veritas, et id ex verisimilibus rerum indiciis et conjecturis, 
nunc pro eo, nunc contra eum qui accusatur facientibus." Lib. xiv. c. 1, § 2. 
So of the competency of the defendant himself to demand a particular form of 
trial. Merchant and Friar, 180-190. 

1916.] THE OLD JURY. 313 

This was the extent of the inquiry, unless the accused, by 
permission, put himself upon a jury; the ordeal was the pre- 
scribed mode of trial for half a century yet. That is, the trial 
itself by the old mode, or by one of the old modes, admitted of 
no examination after the medial judgment. It was in jury 
trials alone that investigation beyond the preliminaries was pos- 
sible; and jury trial in the cases in question was yet very 

How did the case now stand? Here, in the preliminaries, was 
a plain suggestion, fortified, as will be seen, by the French in- 
quest, which must have been familiar to the English judges; 
did the judges see and care? Much was to turn upon that ques- 
tion. Let us look into the subject. 

In certain cases where the parties or the King called for in- 
quiry out of the ordinary, great pains were taken to "inform" 
the jury. How this was done has been told in detail by Thayer. 1 
Two or three typical examples may be given here: 

1 . The jurors themselves were usually community witnesses, 
summoned for their knowledge of what had taken place in the 
vicinage. In aid of them, in special cases, other sworn persons 
(often called jurors) were added to tell the jury, not what they 
"knew," but what they had seen and heard; jurors of the hun- 
dred or of some particular ward of London or other town — a 
separate body, at least from the fourteenth century, from the 
trial jurors whom they were to help. An offence is secretly com- 
mitted in X; the offender flees to Y, where he is arrested; he 
lives in Z. Juries from all these places, and perhaps from other 
places, are summoned and brought in aid of the trial jury — 
combined it may be with the original jury — to furnish any in- 
formation they had. 

2. Next suppose that a deed of feoffment, or a will, for ex- 
ample, of one of the Humphreys de Bohun,or any other witnessed 
instrument, had been pleaded and put in issue. The witnesses 
now are the transaction witnesses of the time, named for the 
very purpose of giving testimony in court in regard to the sub- 
ject in question, of which the instrument was to be the proof. 
These witnesses by the ancient law might, like an ordinary jury, 
decide the case; they were expected to do so. Or, as in modern 

1 Evidence, 90-94. 


times, they might act merely as witnesses before a trial jury — 
this where the parties had put themselves, not on the witnesses 
to the instrument, but on a jury; in which case they merely "in- 
formed " the jury. Or again, the two bodies might be combined 
into one, according to the pleading and the judgment of the 
court. The names of the witnesses to the instrument were usu- 
ally signed by the notary who drew it up, often without their 
knowledge and though they knew little or nothing at all of the 
transaction, or of the statements of the instrument; a fact which 
might or might not be brought out, according to whether or 
not the witnesses were challenged. 

3. Another case may be mentioned. Parties were entitled to 
have the names of the trial jurors given them before the term 
set for the trial, so that, at least in property cases, they might 
inform the jury of their right and title. 1 

All this looks at first like evidence, but evidence it was not. 
Evidence means much more than the production of testimony, 
however strong; the term includes in its import, or rather evi- 
dence itself is, the rational mode of removing doubt. It accord- 
ingly imports (a) the production of testimony of facts, under 
(b) reasonable precautions and safeguards, and (c) a, critical 
examination of such facts (1) in regard to their truth or proba- 
bility, and (2) their bearing upon the issue; all of this based 
upon (d) clear and sound experience. This is the test by which 
to try the question of the employment of evidence in the courts 
under the old jury — a test in which the jury must have failed, 
especially in regard to second-hand testimony, which, it may be 
added, is often of first-rate value and often followed. But 
knowledge whether by sense-perception or through other ra- 
tional evidence was not necessary to qualify a juror. The 
juror's "knowledge" might fall far short of this. Except in so 

1 The sheriff too had a hand in the business; as we have already said, he se- 
lected the jurors. In Palgrave's fiction of The Merchant and Friar (Marco Polo 
and Roger Bacon) the sheriff, answering the court ("Sheriff! is your inquest in 
Court?"), tells how faithful he has been in rinding an excellent jury for the 
crown. "I have myself," he says, "picked and chosen every man on the panel. 
. . . The least informed of them," he goes on to say, " have taken great pains to 
go up and down in every hole and corner of Westminster — they and their wives 
— and to learn all they could hear concerning his [the culprit's] past and present 
life and conversation." Merchant and Friar, 184-190. See also Thayer, Evi- 
dence, 90, 91, note. 

I9i6.] THE OLD JURY. 315 

far as the term had acquired a technical meaning, 1 it meant 
nothing different from the ''knowledge " of other men; and how 
vague and uncertain that is even at this day — how far from the 
persuasiveness of evidence — a moment's reflection will show. 
Men in general will readily declare they "know," when a ques- 
tion or two will show that they have no knowledge either 
directly acquired by the senses or indirectly apprehended by 
sound reasoning. 2 Uncritical knowledge was enough for a ver- 
dict by the old jury; special circumstances like those above 
stated only added somewhat to the trustworthy character of the 
verdict — it did not essentially change it. And it must be re- 
membered always that we are dealing with an age of credulity 
in which divination, magic and mathematics, supposed to be- 
long to the same category, all alike flourished, all equally credi- 
ble. The jury of the time was better than other modes of trial, 
but like them it was even at its highest no more than trial 
by men to whom the occult was fact equally with objects of 

But afforcement of the jury was exceptional, as one may 
readily see by looking into the records of the time, for instance, 
the Rotuli Curiae Regis. 3 Afforcement is always particularly 
referred to as out of course. Usually there was a simple jury, 
witnesses being brought forward by the parties as in modern 
times — for what the jury cared to consider them worth. The 
jury could disregard the sworn information even of the impartial 
transaction and community witnesses. Whether there were 
witnesses or not was immaterial for the verdict; the jury 
"knew" what to say regardless of others. In ordinary cases, 
that is, unless there was special reason for inquiry by the court, 
no inquiry concerning the knowledge of the jurors was made. 
The judges merely looked on after delivering the charge; it 
was now no affair of theirs. It was the jury's business; to hear 
or refuse to hear witnesses — not merely to disbelieve their tes- 
timony — was their right. On the other hand, they were not 
permitted to take unsealed writings out into the jury room, be- 
cause such writings were not authenticated; though they 

1 See note 2, 323, infra. 

2 • 'Hearsay" is another thing and may be and often is serious evidence. See 

3 These are the earliest official records of litigation in England; they are of 
the years 1194-1199. 


might look at them before going out. That indeed was scru- 
tiny, as far as it went. 

Across the English Channel, whence came the jury, a different 
state of things was coming to pass as early as the thirteenth cen- 
tury. There the jury, under the name of Inquest, had flour- 
ished for centuries before it was carried to England, and there 
it was to find a place in the history of judicial evidence which it 
did not have at the time, and never had, in England. What 
was exceptional and extraordinary in England was in ordinary 
course south of the channel. There we find the courts dealing 
with questions of fact regularly * upon something like modern ' 
ideas of evidence; ideas which were to lead in a direction of 
their own, not to laws peculiar to legal evidence such as came 
to pass in England, but to evidence in the untechnical sense of 
modern science. The jury was finally left to England, there to 
work out its peculiar course touching evidence by slow and 
sluggish steps. 

We turn now to Normandy for evidence in support of these 
remarks; what do the books tell us of the course of things there? 
The Ancient Coutume, of date between 1276 and 1280, gives 
us a plain answer, so far as criminal cases are concerned. In 
murder trials, the Costumal tells us, the accused may put him- 
self upon an inquest of the country, Venqueste du pays. The 
judge was then to summon all those who were presumed to 
know anything about the cause, or have any information about 
it, suddenly, without warning or suggestion, so that they might 
not be tampered with. Calling each one before him, in the pres- 
ence of four knights of good repute, he was next to "inquire 
diligently" into the facts, taking down the answers in writing. 
Then he was to have the accused brought before those whom 
he had examined, and permit him to challenge any of the num- 
ber. The jury should finally consist of twenty-four men at 
least. Similarly, in cases of theft or robbery, summons was to 
be made of lawful jurors, who knew the truth in regard to the 
facts and the life of the accused. These were now to go before 

1 The credulity of the age, however, found its way still in the courts of justice. 
Appeals of sorcery and enchantments occupy a chapter of a page and a half 
in the printed text of the Ancien Coutumier de Bourgogne, ch. xxxi, Marnier. 
" Se une feme dit a une autre: Tu has fait ces charraies (enchantments) et ie t'en 
prouerai. Se au provez vient, prouer le droit par loial tesmoins qui haient veu 
et oi, et oi recognoistre que de fit ces charraie. ..." 13th century. 

iqi6.] THE OLD JURY. 317 

the judge, with three or four knights, in secret, to be examined 
diligently, one by one, in regard to their knowledge and belief 
concerning the life and acts of the accused. Then came the 
opportunity for challenge, and after this what each juror had 
said was to be declared before the accused by the judge, and the 
jurors were to confess that they had sworn accordingly. Ver- 
dict by twenty was to be conclusive. 

A decision of the Norman Court of Exchequer of the year 1292 
may now continue the inquiry. In an inquest or jury, upon a 
writ de stabilia, 1 the judge asks the jury, who had made their 
answer, of the ground for what they had declared — was it 
"de scientia"? The jury answered that they spoke "de credu- 
litate" — they believed. The question was then raised whether 
such answer was sufficient; judgment that according to cus- 
tom it was, in that case, and that knowledge was not required. 2 
That is, it seems, certainty — knowledge by the senses — was 
not necessary before a jury. Here was the beginning of a pre- 
cedural distinction, which was to be complete in the following 
century; this appears by a decision which throws light back- 
wards and forwards. It was now held that any one who could 
produce evidence de certain — de scientia, knowledge by sense- 
perception — had the right to choose between bringing his case 
before a judge or putting it upon a jury — enquet. Such a 
person was not to be compelled to go to a jury — that was the 
point decided. 3 Here was a distinction which, looking back- 
wards, shows that the judge had already acquired the power, 
in civil cases as well as in criminal, of deciding questions of 
fact; this alongside the older process of jury trial. 

But the meaning of it is more significant than the mere fact; 
the judge acts upon facts of knowledge by the senses — sight 
and hearing — while the jury is now and probably has long 

1 For the protection of one's fief, possession of which had been disturbed by some 
powerful lord. De Gruchy, in note to his ed. of the Ancienne Coutume de Nor- 
mandie, 154. 

2 Statuta et Consuetudines of Normandy , Warnkonig, quoted by Brunner, Schw. 


8 " Qui veult prover par preuve destroite, c'est assavoir par tesmoing de certain, 
il ne doit pas estre contraint a prouver par enqueste; car a cellui qui a a faire la 
prevue est a choysir ou prendre preuve destroite ou loy (lex) d'enqueste, na sa 
partie ne lui peult empeschier, car la plus forte loy abat la plus fieble." Brunner, 
Schw., 453, quoting Coutumue Style et Usage aux temps fichiquiers de Nor- 
mandie, Caen, 1847, ch. 28, 30. 


been the proper agency for the trial of cases of less certainty, 
" feeble" cases. And the reason is plain; the judge would not 
be likely to know anything about the facts — he was not ex- 
pected to be; hence he should be informed with certainty. 
The jury, on the other hand — the body of men of the commu- 
nity, du pays — has been chosen for the very reason of their 
knowledge, in either form, first hand or second; hence they 
might make sufficient the "feeble" facts of the party — that 
was regular business of the jury. In other words, one having 
" certain" knowledge was not to be required to put this in doubt, 
by putting it before a jury; while one dependent upon others, 
or upon reasoning more or less doubtful, was to have the aid of 
his neighbors, the jurors, so far as that might help his infirmity. 

The jury was now exceptional process, resorted to only in 
cases of need — lest for want of the better evidence, one fail and 
lose one's right. 1 

This is the light thrown backwards by the procedure. The 
jury is for the feebler case; the feebler case is displaced (by the 
decision of the Norman judge) for the stronger. We may now 
see the light as thrown forwards. The decision just mentioned, 
together with the case of 1 292, is a forerunner; the road to Rome 
is open; 2 the course cannot be long. Norman and Anglo- 
Norman 3 are to part company completely; the jury will come 
to be looked upon as an English notion, as a subject for the 
French (or German) antiquary. In the fourteenth century the 
"feebler" way has disappeared altogether; 4 both kinds of fact, 
knowledge by the senses and knowledge less certain, have come 
together as evidence, and so French law has settled any doubt 
whether south of the channel there should grow up a congeries 
of laws of investigation peculiar to the administration of jus- 
tice. The conception of evidence, in the sense of science, has now 
prevailed, whatever its relation to the canonical Inquisition of 
the Middle Ages. All facts which are calculated according to 

1 " Avant que le droit perisse, Ten se aide des enquestes." Brunner, ut supra. 
Style et Usage, ch. 28, 28. 

2 The Roman judge or praetor was before the mind. " Hors jugement en aulcun 
lieu hors du pretoire " — court-room. Stille de proceder, Normandy; Brunner, 
Schw. 455. 

3 "Anglo-Norman" is belated for the 13th century, but it is better than "Eng- 
lish" when applied to the courts. 

4 "Die germanische Scheidung zwischen Richter und Urteilfindern war versch- 
wunden." Brunner, Schw. 456. 

1916.] THE OLD JURY. 319 

experience to influence or throw light upon conduct, second-hand 
as well as first-hand facts, are to take their place, in the findings 
of the judge, according to their worth. The function of the 
jury has been absorbed in that of the judge. 1 

So in France. What was going on in England? The dis- 
tinction between the two kinds of fact brought about another 
result there. Facts furnished by witnesses were to be of the 
senses, de visu et auditu. Evidence by sight was a clear case; 
I see by my own eyes, not by the eyes of another. But hearing 
has a double import. I may hear a sound myself, or may hear 
another tell of it, and that other may have heard it from some- 
one else. The English law, after its earlier doubts, 2 put aside 
second-hand evidence; a course that has made it necessary, 
more and more down to the present day to heap exception upon 
exception, until confusion is enough to baffle all but the persist- 
ent few who can follow the attenuating thread of history back 
to its obscure and distant beginnings. The administration of 
law could not fail to be embarrassed when so much of life was 
shut out of hearing in the halls of justice; or rather, when by 
reason of trial by jury questions of fact not within one's own 
observation must not be permitted to go to the accredited 
judges, jurors or not, and when something called the "best 
evidence" is considered alone to be admissible — to the exclu- 
sion, that is to say, of what does not fall within the meaning of 
that doubtful and discredited term. 3 

The difference thus shown between methods on the opposite 
sides of the channel — between Normans (and English) on the 
one side and Normans on the other — is striking. 4 The Anglo- 

1 This had come to pass completely by the latter part of the 14th century. 
See Le Grand Coutumier de France, lib. 4, c. 1, on the office of Judge, Paris, 1868. 

The judge or some deputy examines the witnesses with modern thoroughness. 

So far as any express language is concerned it is true, as Brunner, Schw. 457, 
says, that there is no trace in France of opposition to the jury; but the abandon- 
ment of the jury speaks for itself. 

2 As in the case of the champion; he at first was a witness, swearing either 
upon what he himself knew or what his father had told him. Other witnesses 
and jurors had sworn in the same formula. 

3 See Thayer, Evidence, chapter xi., where the history of the "best evidence" 
is set out. It should be said that much of this runs back to times before the 
English jury, as Thayer has shown; but it is still pure English, its devious course 
everywhere affected by the jury. 

4 The difference, which is the subject largely of this paper, has been noticed 
by others as needing explanation. "When all has been said, the almost total 


Norman judge saw in the jury only a particular organ for ex- 
pressing habits of mind long before formed ; habits in which the 
judge was but a moderator, presiding over justice as a sort of 
contest, to see that the old rules were observed. Judges who 
could approve the introduction of trial by battle could natu- 
rally see nothing in the jury but a new form of old processes of 
trial, with twelve witnesses in the one case to one in the other. 1 
The idea of evidence, except as partially employed in the quali- 
fication of witnesses and jurors, did not enter the mind or at any 
rate found no expression. Exception was to remain exception, 
generation after generation, without suggesting that it was 
only part of a general rule. 

The Norman judge was a different man; he saw a light in the 
jury and began to play, in however small a role, the part of 
the coming modern man. He appears to have realized that the 
only way to decide disputed facts was by evidence, and evidence 
was now introduced into his court for the first time since the 
fall of Rome. What he saw was not so much the jury as the 
suggestion it brought, that questions of fact could and should 
be decided by evidence; and for that purpose a jury was no 
more needed in France than it had been in Rome, or than it is 
now in England or America. And so the jury was put away. 2 

It is hardly necessary here to say that no argument is being 
made in favor of the later canonical inquest of continental 
Europe — better known as the Inquisition. That was an un- 
necessary outcome of a legitimate antecedent. England very 
likely did, as Maitland has pointed out, 3 have a narrow escape 
from that danger; but it was not the jury that saved the day. 4 

disappearance in France of the old enquUe du pays in favor of the enquete of 
the canon law at the very time when the inquisitio patriae is carrying all before 
it in England is one of the grand problems in the comparative history of the two 
nations." Pollock and Maitland, History of English Law, n. 602. 

1 See Glanvill, Lib. 2, c. 7, infra. 

2 The jury of the neighborhood — du pays — was particularly adapted to 
its original purpose of ascertaining fiscal or crown and ducal rights of property, 
scattered throughout the country and denied as they were; much more so than 
the many other facts to which it was and is directed; the trial jury was later 
than the fiscal jury. 

3 English Law and the Renaissance (Rede Lecture). See also Maitland's 
Roman Canon Law and the Church of England. 

4 The contrary must run thus: France, which had the jury, gave it up, and 
the canonical inquest followed; England which had the jury, kept it; and the 
canonical inquest did not follow. Ergo England was saved by the jury. Praise 

I 9 i6.] THE OLD JURY. 321 

That, however, is beside the present point. All that these re- 
marks are intended to show is that the jury stood in the way of 
evidence and put off the day of sound inquiry for generations — 
until indeed the Court of Chancery was brought into being to 
put an end to the embarrassment. It matters not that trial by 
jury at last found the way, so far as that is the case, for it found 
the way only through special rules for excluding evidence. 

The explanation of the difference between the Anglo-Norman 
and the Norman judge may perhaps be found by looking at the 
subject from the point of view (already intimated in "habit") 
of psychology. With the Anglo-Norman judge the cognitive 
and the conative (or willing) functions of the mind had by long, 
unbroken usage become settled ("rigid"), and the relation be- 
tween them was accordingly imperfect. The difference be- 
tween men is the difference of mental preparation, whether by 
heredity or environment, or both. The mind responds to the 
stimulus for which it has been well prepared, and in ordinary 
circumstances to that only. Stimulus must be powerful and 
usually long-continued to break up habit finally. With the 
Norman judge the cognitive and conative functions appear to 
have remained, or to have become, mobile ("plastic"); the 
relation between them accordingly was sensitive to the special 
stimulus, and cognition was the means of arousing the will to 
action. In a word, the reaction of the Anglo-Norman judge to 
the introduction of the jury was reflexive; that of the Norman 
judge was reflective. 

If this is the right way to put it, it was not so much a prefer- 
ence for the old ways, in the case of the Anglo-Norman judge, as 
it was a fixed habit of mind which really governed his conduct. 
Why the Norman in England fell short of the Norman in Nor- 
mandy was perhaps because the feeling of the English, many of 
whom were retained in office after the Conquest, was strong 
enough to stifle any direct effect of the stimulus. How else 
can the fact be accounted for, that the Norman mind, quick- 
ened into legal life in Normandy, was repressed, to find an out- 
let only in minor ways, in England? 1 

of the English jury in contrast with the development of the continental inquest 
almost leads to that — it easily suggests it. 

1 Anglo-Norman judges — and the king-duke, from the Conqueror to John — 
took part in the administration of justice on both sides of the channel. Foreigners 
in high places were the scandal of Henry Third. 


Three centuries after the Norman Conquest must indeed pass 
before there was to be any serious stirring in England of the 
stagnant pool; for the reforms of Henry the Second touching 
the jury still left the jury a form of trial. Not until the latter 
part of the fourteenth century were the need and efficacy of evi- 
dence for determining questions of fact driven home, although 
throughout this long period the judges were daily being brought 
face to face with the most momentous questions that ever could 
affect society — questions of life, property and well-being. 
Such was the power of a custom. Discredited, as some of it was, 
even in its day 1 — for the primitive stage with the governing 
class was passing away 2 — it could confine the human mind 
within a prison-house whose doors needed but a touch to open 
them, and there was no one to lift the latch. But what we call 
custom is social habit — a secondary form of mental disposi- 
tion which thus becomes part of the structure of the mind of all 
men within its operation. It was not the judges alone who could 
treat custom as positive law, 3 as if it were statute; lords and 
commons alike — the commons were wedded to their idols — 
were affected. Kings too could come and go, leaving a great 
name for achievement in the affairs of State, while showing at 
best only a negligible interest in the value of judicial processes 
of evidence for the discovery of truth. It was an age in which 
observation set no bounds to truth. The jury was indeed in 
favor, but not as a body appointed and devoted to the investiga- 
tion of facts. 4 There is no indication even of a desire for better 

1 Rufus said of trial by ordeal that men need not appeal to God, he himself 
would decide. But his bold word was void. See Thayer, Evidence, 38; Eadmer, 
Historia Novorum, 102 (Rolls series); Pollock and Maitland, 11. 597; Brunner, 
Schw. 182. Fifty men who had been complained of for taking the King's deer 
cleared themselves by the ordeal of hot iron. Bigelow, Placita A. N., 72. Such a 
number may have something to say about the ordeal, it is thought. No doubt 
ordeals could be manipulated, but so could and can the jury. 

2 The 4th Lateran Council, 1215, found the time ripe for striking a blow at the 
ordeal. Change of ways of thinking and acting comes with increase of knowledge. 
"When I was a child, I thought as a child," etc. But the thinking and acting of 
the child are normal and healthful. 

3 "Since waging law has always been practiced, and no other way" for many 
cases, " this proves in a way that it is un positive ley." Ashton, J., Y. B. 33 Hen. 
VI. 7, 23, quoted by Thayer, Evidence, 29. 

4 Even Glanvill, the Chief Justiciar and panegyrist of the jury, could pit that 
body against trial by battle as a case of twelve witnesses against one. Lib. 2, 
c. 7. 

iqi6.] THE OLD JURY. 323 

things until the Court of Chancery broke down the ancient 
barriers. It was for that new energy to point and lead the way, 
however faintly, to the discovery of truth, and to supply the 
power for making good the truth when discovered. 1 The Court 
of Chancery introduced, not indeed technical rules of evidence 
— it was for the jury to do that — but the modern era of sound 
judicial inquiry into questions of fact. 2 That court dispensed 
with any intermediary needing both instruction and control; 
it required parties to testify; it had the King instead of a 
sheriff to guard its work. It did not hold seeds which were to 
sprout into a volume of judicial rules for excluding evidence; 
rules too often whose meaning only some hardy explorer of legal 
history could in our day discover — rules which were to vex 
the courts long after the jury had for most civil purposes gone 
the way of all things which have lost their skill to win favor in 
the practical affairs of life. 3 

This part of the inquiry may close with some remarks on the 
defects and the advantages of the old mode of jury trial. 

The defects may be summed up in the statement that no 
sound method of examining fact was in use. There was no 
critical examination at the critical moment — at the time when 
the jury came before the court to give the verdict. The jurors 

1 The only man before this time, who was capable of greater things, was in his 
own day, as he himself tells us, unheard, forgotten, buried. Roger Bacon, Opus 
Major, 1267. 

2 Even if evidence in the true sense had been employed in the courts of Eng- 
land during the period in question, it would not have been English, as it was 
destined to become — pure English. If it had come into use in Norman times, 
it would probably have followed the French inquest; that is, there would have 
been no laws of legal evidence. All the later writers on evidence point out the fact 
that the English courts alone have a law of evidence peculiar to the trial of causes. 
See e. g. Thayer, Evidence, at the beginning of his Introduction. The jury, and 
nothing else, is responsible. The peculiarity seems to have begun as early as the 
first half of the 14th century, perhaps earlier. See a case of the year 1340, Y. B., 
14 Edw. III. 25-34, quoted by Thayer, pp. 108, 109, to the effect that jurors 
could not "know" the existence of legal records not produced before them, how- 
ever strong the reasons given by them to show the fact. But perhaps the judges 
as well could not "know" such things; if so, the case would be one of substantive 
law and not of excluding evidence. In either case knowledge was already a tech- 
nical term, limiting inquiry accordingly. 

3 It is not altogether a matter of the exclusion of evidence that could not safely 
be left to a jury; the trouble is that rules of substantive law and procedure have 
been confused with evidence. But that is equally due to the jury. Thayer has 
made this plain in his preliminary Treatise on Evidence, so often cited in these 


were witnesses as well as judges of fact, and as witnesses the 
occasional and irregular examination (dependent mostly upon 
challenges, which might not be made) in making up the panel 
could not take the place of a searching examination when the 
witness- jury came forward, in open court, to give answer on the 
issue. The parties were now ready and prepared, according to 
modern ideas, to sift the evidence and clear up the doubts. 
Party witnesses indeed were of little value and were not exam- 
ined at all; and such examination of the juror witnesses as took 
place was out of the ordinary course, much as it was in making 
up the panel. It was occasional and exceptional, employed 
only as grounds of suspicion of the jury arose; and when it did 
take place, it was not of the critical, exhaustive nature which 
would satisfy modern ideas. Cross-examination was unknown; 
the judge conducted such examination as was made, and such 
as he chose; precautions and safeguards, especially touching 
" knowledge" acquired out of court, were insufficient. The 
witness-juror judged of the value of his own ideas and infor- 
mation ! 

What advantages were there in the old jury trial, for dis- 
covering truth? These were equally noteworthy. As witnesses 
themselves, the jurors were left without restriction in regard to 
what, as men of good sense — freemen and true 1 — they 
deemed relevant and proper. They would and did act upon 
belief and thoughts; 2 they could and did act upon what their 
fathers told them to be true, and generally upon hearsay, which 
men in our day speak of somewhat contemptuously — as if 
half the affairs of life were not founded upon hearsay. They 
could act upon whatever appeared to them trustworthy 3 — 
upon anything which they thought likely to throw light upon 
the question at issue. Here was in principle all that the subject- 
matter of evidence requires. The defect was in dealing with it. 
The age was uncritical; no one knew, or at any rate cared, how 

1 "Summone . . . duodecim liberos et legates homines " is the usual language. 
Glanvill, lib. xiii. 

2 The Mirror (13th century) calls this one of the "abuses"; but that shows 
the fact, and only a private objection. 

3 The jurors swore to decide "per proprium visum et auditum . . . vel per 
verba patrum suorum et per talia quibus fidem teneantur habere ut propriis." 
Glanvill, lib. 2, c. 17. This was in the grand assise, made to accord perhaps with 
the champion's oath, in trial by battle in Glanvill's time. But other juries swore 
in the same way. 

igi6.] THE OLD JURY. 325 

to make a proper use of the means of investigation. Nothing 
was excluded; but wisdom failed. 

It would not do to stop with noting the advantage of a clear 
field. Witnesses of the parties were sworn to state only what 
they had seen and heard; and this would have led, and, when 
the modern jury came into operation, did finally lead to the 
exclusion of evidence, for the modern witness still testifies ordi- 
narily to the evidence of his senses. But the old jurors swore, as 
we have seen, to what they knew, which led further than might 
at first be supposed. It led juries to take account of states of 
mind, as in the ordinary course of things; in this respect fol- 
lowing the more ancient modes of trial. There was no more 
common process in the thirteenth century — and for centuries 
before in other forms of procedure — than jury trial under the 
writ de odio et atia, to determine whether a person in prison 
had been put there by actual hatred or malice. 1 And there 
was also the proceeding of the writ of conspiracy, for a malicious 
prosecution, which with some changes has come down to our day. 
The old jury was never restricted to finding acts and omissions. 

In modern times — in very recent times — much question 
has been made with regard to evidence of states of mind (apart 
from cases of alleged insanity). The modern jury is made up 
of men who are ignorant of the facts to be proved; the jury 
must learn everything from witnesses, but, apart from expert 
witnesses, these speak mainly of matters of knowledge acquired 
by the senses. Can a jury then — or a judge, for the judge has 
become a juryman — find mental facts, as ground of liability? 
That has been a subject of considerable discussion, which of 
course I cannot enter into here. 2 But I suppose that there has 
been no real departure from the old position; the mind, though 
indirectly, as well as the act, is the subject of inquiry. 3 But 

1 This afterwards gave way to the writ of habeas corpus, a proceeding tried 
by the judge without a jury. Many jury cases may be found in the Rotuli Curiae 
Regis (1194-1200). See e.g. Vol. n., 30-31, 97, 120, 230, 278. I have noticed 
only one case in the last five years of Richard's reign. Vol. 1., p. 52. And this case 
looks untechnical. Perhaps the writ was adopted in the first year of John, from 
the practice in the lower courts, popular and franchise. 

2 The English Utilitarians and Holmes on the Common Law, make external 
standards the test of liability, and make little of states of mind. See especially 
J. S. Mill's Essay on Utilitarianism. 

3 Legally speaking (apart from statute) acts and omissions, though resulting 
in damages, are nothing in themselves; wrongfulness must be added — a mental 
quality is necessary. 


we have to break somewhat with the idea of the modern jury, as 
a body to be informed by witnesses speaking only to the senses, 
to reach that result; otherwise why should not witnesses speak 
directly to states of mind? Why not ask a witness what he 
thinks? What I say that I think is evidence, according to its 
importance and my means of information, everywhere except 
in the courts of justice, and would be there but for the modern 
jury. We have defects as well as advantages in our jury. The 
change in the function of the juryman has been not merely in 
the fact that from being a witness as well as judge, he has 
become a judge only, dependent upon others for facts: mod- 
ern courts have learned the method of evidence. They have, 
that is to say, learned how to deal with the evidence to which 
the jury system has limited them. Much of the supply of facts 
which the old jury had to draw upon has been put out of court, 
and confusion has been added to much that has been kept. It 
comes to this: The old jury had a complete supply of material 
not properly prepared; the modern jury has an incomplete 
supply of material properly prepared. Who would go to our 
courts for instruction may with confidence study an incompa- 
rable method, while looking with mingled feelings upon a process 
devoted to truth, which begins by turning away half the stream 
of evidence, and then sets to grinding out grist of rules for 
turning dribblings of the waste back to old, forgotten uses. 1 

The history of the Court of Chancery lies beyond the field 
of this paper; but it is only right to say that while that court 
set out with the promise of gain without loss, it fell into the 
mistake, in its later history, of treating hearsay as a matter of 
substantive law, which of course would bind the chancellor as 
well as the common law judge. The modern jury has affected 
the entire course of justice the world around. But the Court of 
Chancery was a true light; the Old Era was at an end; in 
course of time a Chancellor produced the Novum Organum. 2 

1 See e. g. the "best evidence" rule, Thayer, chap. xi. The only noteworthy 
change that took place in the function of the old jury was that, on the advent of 
professional lawyers as judges (temp. Edw. I.), the jury, or "laymen," as they 
were significantly called, were now required to confine themselves to ques- 
tions of fact. They must not pass on matters of law. Before that time, when 
the judges themselves were mostly laymen, this obviously could not be done. 

2 As for Harvey's gibe at Bacon, that " the Lord Chancellor wrote on science 
like a lord chancellor," it would have been easy, and equally vain, to reply, that 
when Harvey said that he did not speak like a man of science. 

I 9 i6.] TWO GRANT LETTERS. 327 

If then the history of evidence may be treated as calling for a 
consideration of the ancient period of trials, the old jury may be 
regarded as the last link of the earlier part of the chain ; while 
the Court of Chancery is the first link in the modern mode of 
investigating truth. 1 

Two Grant Letters. 

Professor B as sett contributed copies of two holograph letters 
from General Grant to S. L. Hamlen, dentist, preserved by his 
daughter, Miss Elinor Hamlen, of Northampton, and by her 
presented to the Smith College Library, March 16, 1916. 

Near Vicksburg, Feb. nth, 1863. 

Dear Sir: I met with a serious loss this morning through the 
carelessness of a servant. On going to bed last night I left my teeth 
in the washbool with just water enough to cover them over. This 
morning the servant who takes care of my state room emptied the 
basin into the river teeth and all leaving me in rather a bad fix 
away as I am from where damages can be repaired. 

If you are coming this way can you not bring the material for 
taking an impression so that a set can be made for me and forwarded. 
Respectfully, &c, 

U. S. Grant, 
Maj. Gen. 

Head Quarters, Military Drv. of the Miss. 
Chattanooga, Ten., Dec. 7th, 1863. 

S. L. Hamlen, Dentist, is authorized to practise his profession 
at any point within this military command. Permits will be issued 
for Dr. Hamlen, by Provost Marshals, to pass, with such material 

1 It is not intended to intimate that the Court of Chancery at once anticipated 
the modern methods of science in the investigation of truth; all that is meant is 
that it lighted a torch, however dim, for such investigation, so far as the admin- 
istration of justice is concerned. If the field was narrow, the aim was modern: 1. 
The old modes of trial were left aside. 2. Cases were not one-sided, party affairs; 
the court dealt with the complaint. 3. The defendant, who knew the facts, was 
required to testify. 4. Examination of facts was not confined to preliminaries of 
competency — it was extended to the merits as being the ground of interference. 
5. The King's direct power was added, the chancellor being the King's right arm, 
in a sense not true of the ordinary judges. The truth must be found and must 
prevail. All this has a forward look, though, in fact, it was the civil (Roman) 
law on English soil. 


as may be required in the practice of his profession, from Cincinnati 
to the point where he may desire to locate. 

U. S. Grant, 
Maj. Gen. 

Certificate by Charles Chauncy. 1 

3 (9) 1665 
Thes are to testify to the Lords people, as occasion required that 
Benjamin Eliot, 2 Bachelor of arts, hath for the space of foure yeares 
lived with us, being diligent in his studyes and in constant repairing 
unto the worship of God, so that of later times he hath given my 
selfe good evidence, that the Lords call of him to the fellowship of 
Christ hath bene effectuall unto him, so that he hath the root of 
the matter in him; so that I hope that he will, by Gods grace be a 
profitable instrument in the church of Christ as God shall be pleased 
further to call him and choose him to beare his name. This I testify 
as well acquainted with his ways and willing to encourage such 
beginnings in the Lord. 

Charles Chauncy. 

Convicts for Transportation. 3 

To all People to whom these presents shall come, Charles Bracken- 
bury of Hull, in the Kingdom of Great Britain, merchant, (at present 
in Boston in New England) sendeth Greeting. Know ye That I 
the said Charles Brackenbury for and in Consideration of Four 
hundred and Twenty Pounds New England Currency of the old 
Tenor to me in hand Paid by Messrs Charles Apthorp and Thomas 
Hancock both of Boston aforesaid, Merchants (the receipt where of 
I do hereby Acknowledge) Have and by these presents Do Grant 
sell assign and make over unto said Apthorp and Hancock their 
Executors Administrators and assigns the several Persons hereafter 
named That is to say, John Fowler, John Jeffers, Andrew Crombey, 
Robert Mason, Thomas Balderson, James Williamson and Roger 
Ferguson, the said [James] Williamson and Roger Ferguson for 
Fourteen years each, and [Fowler] Jeffers, Crombey, Mason and 
Balderson for seven years [each torn] all my right and title in and to 
said several persons [their] times of Transportation, they being Per- 

1 From the Washburn Collection, 010. 4. 5. 

2 Eliot, a son of the "Apostle," born January 29, 1646-47, graduated from 
Harvard College in 1665, and died October 16, 1687. He is said to have assisted 
his father as a preacher, but was never ordained or married. 

3 From the collection of Charles P. Greenough. 


sons severally Indicted and Convicted of Sundry Crimes, and were 
sentenced to death and some of them to Transportation. Since 
which his Majesty has been most graciously Pleased to Extend his 
Royal Mercy to those sentenced to death on Condition of Transporta- 
tion to some of his Majestys Colonies and Plantations in America 
for the Terms aforesaid. Which Convicts and their times of Trans- 
portation were Lawfully assigned to me the said Charles Bracken- 
bury by Mr. William Cookson of Hull in Great Britain Esq. Mer- 
chant, who was the Contractor with the Government for them. 
Witness my hand and seal this eighteenth day of July Anno Dom 


Charles Brackenbury. (Seal) 
Sealed and delivered 
in presence of us 
Thos. Temple 

Remarks were made during the meeting by Messrs. Wendell, 
Grant, and Adams. 






Edward Henry Strobel was elected a Resident Member 
of this Society on January 9, 1902, in recognition, as the Presi- 
dent, Mr. Adams, said, "of distinguished services rendered and 
results accomplished in the field of international law." * Dur- 
ing his membership he made no communication to the Society. 
In the summer of the year of his election the position of General 
Adviser to his Siamese Majesty's Government was offered 
him, and from then until his departure for Bangkok, in the fall 
of 1903, his time was so fully occupied that his absence from 
the meetings of the Society was unavoidable. 

Strobel was born in Charleston, South Carolina, on December 
7, 1855, and died in Bangkok, Siam, on January 15, 1908. 
His parents were Maynard Davis and Caroline Lydia (Bullock) 
Strobel, and he and a younger sister, still living, were the only 
children. The father, who was of Flemish descent and who 
was cashier of the Farmers' and Exchange Bank of Charleston 
at the opening of the Civil War, had put all his money into 
Confederate bonds, and after the close of hostilities found 
himself without means and in no position to retrieve his fallen 
fortunes up to the time of his death in April, 1868. But he 
remained in Charleston, where his grandfather had come about 
1750, while Mrs. Strobel and her children, after the burning 
of their house during the first year of the war, were obliged to 

1 3 Proceedings, 1. 319. 


leave the now beleaguered city and finally take refuge in Chester, 
South Carolina, where the family has since remained. 

Entering Harvard in the autumn of 1873, Strobel found life 
there vivid and interesting, for he easily made friends and 
was not denied the pleasant social relations which make a 
college career doubly helpful. He was a member of the Everett 
Athenaeum, the Signet Society, and the Phi Beta Kappa. He 
won a Lee prize for reading, a "detur," and a second Boylston 
prize for elocution. After taking second-year honors in the 
classics, he graduated in the Class of 1877 with honors in 
classics, and delivered the Latin Oration on Commencement 
Day, June 27, 1877. On the platform during that august but 
always overcrowded occasion sat President Hayes and also 
James Russell Lowell, who had just received the appointment 
of Minister to Spain. Strobel in the course of his oration re- 
ferred to Lowell's approaching journey "per nebulas et undas," 
and the President smiled, let us hope without previous intima- 
tions, at the felicity of the bilingual play upon his own name. 
So, as it is pleasant to fancy, was begun Strobel's aptitude for 
diplomacy, for one can hardly suppose that the young South- 
erner's enthusiasm for the Chief Executive was at that time 
other than restrained. 

He entered the Harvard Law School in the fall of 1877, but 
did not finish his course there until 1882. In 1880 and 1881 
he visited Europe for the first time and at various periods 
tutored students with marked success. 

In 1883 he was admitted to the New York Bar. After a 
short practice, however, he came to the conclusion that it was 
the part of wisdom in a man of his temperament to seek a 
career of achievement in broader if not richer fields, and to 
abandon the opportunity of making money for the reasonable 
hope of making a reputation. Whether or not the country 
lost an able lawyer by this decision, it is not safe to say. Di- 
plomacy certainly was the gainer. 

Coming to Cambridge and Boston in the summer and fall of 
1884, after this renunciation of a chance to be obscurely pros- 
perous, Strobel now set himself diligently at work to prepare 
a campaign document against the candidacy of Blaine, published 
anonymously under the title Mr. Blaine and his Foreign Policy. 
In this remarkable skit were none of the appeals familiar to the 


American voter. It was cold, severe, ironical, but unfailingly 
courteous. I have never been able to compare it with any other 
partisan document, except to its advantage. In that campaign 
of 1884, waged so ruthlessly on both sides against the personal 
characters of the two candidates, Cleveland and Blaine, Strobel's 
pamphlet stood peculiarly alone. Financially it brought him 
but slim reward, but it showed in its keen analysis of Mr. 
Blaine's diplomatic career, an unmistakable capacity for dealing 
with large affairs. So at least President Cleveland seemed to 
think, for about a year later he commissioned the aspiring 
young publicist as Secretary of Legation at Madrid. "I was 
received very kindly here," he wrote me soon after his arrival 
in Spain, "by Mr. Foster, the Minister. He has sent in his 
resignation and leaves on September 1. I look anxiously at 
the newspapers in order to see whether there is anything about 
the appointment of a new Minister, for, as you know, on Foster's 
retirement, I shall be accredited to the Spanish Government as 
Charge d' Affaires ad interim,, and the salary for that period 
will be $500 per month. So God grant that the interregnum 
may be a long one, notwithstanding the responsibility, which is 
more or less great. It is a satisfaction to know that even if a 
new minister is appointed, the cholera will probably frighten 
him away for some time." 

His wishes were in a large measure gratified. Dr. Jabez 
Lamar Monroe Curry, the Minister named by President 
Cleveland for Spain, was away, largely by reason of ill- 
health, a considerable portion of his term, and Strobel ably 
filled the position of Charge, thus gaining a much larger 
experience in the exercise of responsibility than he could 
possibly have had as a Secretary of Legation. During his 
five years' stay in Spain (1885-1890) Strobel acted as Charge 
about one third of the time. Although he was assured by 
Secretary Bayard that he had accomplished more in a single 
year than his predecessors in twenty years, Minister Curry 
found the climate of Madrid so detrimental to his precarious 
health, that he was obliged, on August 6, 1888, to tender 
his resignation. During these three years a heavy burden of 
work and responsibility rested on the shoulders of the young 
Secretary of Legation. 

Having no memoranda at my command, I dare not venture 


my recollections of some of the eventful experiences through 
which Strobel passed while in Spain. There was one vivid 
story of his brave attempts to convince certain ardent and 
speculative Americans that they were entering on a futile task 
in attempting to raise some sunken treasure ship from depths 
into which it had probably never fallen. I wish that I could 
accurately recall his graphic account of a notorious adventurer 
calling himself the Duke of Arizona, who claimed vast domains 
in the far Southwest on the strength of old and veracious-look- 
ing Spanish deeds. The noble Duke was at last caught, while 
trying to insert forged cedulas of apparently great antiquity 
into the archives at Seville. Strobel was ever ready to assist 
any one in a serious endeavor, and I think that he was sorry to 
learn that the Duke of Arizona proved to be such a graceless 
scoundrel. Among other official experiences in Spain — the death 
of the King, the marriage of the Infanta Eulalia, the birth of 
the present king, the hatting of a cardinal — perhaps the most 
important to Strobel was his representing the United States at 
the funeral of King Alfonso XII. 

In 1889 the Republican party came back into power, with 
Mr. Blaine as Secretary of State. Never a man of small re- 
venges, the Secretary retained in office for a year his vigorous 
but polite assailant. Differences had arisen between the Moroc- 
can government and the American Consulate, and to straighten 
them out Strobel had been sent to Tangier in February, 1888. 
The following year he travelled nearly two hundred miles into 
the interior on horseback in order to have audience with the 
Sultan of Fez. On this occasion Strobel, to whom something 
out of the common was always happening, found himself far 
from the possibility of friendly succor, at serious odds with his 
interpreter and with a little army — a mere handful of hire- 
lings — that he had scraped together for the embassage. Things 
looked dark for American diplomacy in northern Africa at that 
moment, when there appeared a deus ex machina, a Jew who had 
formerly kept a tobacco shop in the Hotel Pelham in Boston, 
where Strobel used often to buy cigarettes. What American 
straightforwardness failed to accomplish was quickly set right 
by Hebraic persuasiveness, and the mimic army soon moved 
forward to its destination. 

Strobel tendered his resignation as Secretary of Legation at 


Madrid on June 17, 1889, but it was not accepted by Mr. 
Blaine until February 13, 1890. In June of 1891 he wrote me 
from Pau, Basses Pyrenees: 

Since my leaving the Legation, I have led a life of quiet and vir- 
tuous tranquillity. I was about to return to America last autumn 
when I received a very advantageous offer to spend the winter at this 
place with a youth who was not going to college, but whose family 
wished him to have as much of a dab at the humanities as I could 
give him in a short time. If Mr. Cleveland should be the next 
President, I should like to go back into the Diplomatic service, 
if I am offered a good appointment; if not, I think that I shall 
go out and settle in Butler's town (Superior, Wisconsin), where 
I have a few hundreds invested that appear to have increased in 

On April 13, 1893, President Cleveland commissioned Strobel 
Third Assistant Secretary of State. The appointment was not 
unwelcome, but Strobel had strong hopes that it was only a 
stepping stone to something higher, and such proved to be the 
case, for in April, 1894, he became our Envoy Extraordinary 
and Minister Plenipotentiary to Ecuador; his retirement from 
the Department of State occurred on the sixteenth of that 

On the eve of his departure for Quito he wrote me, on May 
29, 1894: "I have a long and hard but interesting journey before 
me, fourteen days over the Andes from the coast. You are quite 
wrong about its being hot — the cold is rather to be dreaded. 
... I shall write you soon after my arrival and tell you some- 
thing of the country. There is not much to be done in Ecuador 
and I am taking out a box of solid works for the purpose of 
mental improvement." This journey of one hundred and sixty 
miles from Guayaquil had to be taken on muleback to reach 
finally an altitude of 9000 feet at Quito. 

At last the real career of Strobel was fairly begun, but the 
Quito post by no means represented the goal of his aspirations, 
and the tenure of it was not long, for in December of the 
same year (1894) he was tendered the appointment of Minister 
to Chile. The experience at Quito, however, was valuable, 
and a good preparation for the larger field in Chile. Mr. 
Cleveland must by this time have fully recognized the peculiar 
fitness that Strobel had for certain kinds of negotiations, re- 


quiring an infinite good nature and tact, together with an un- 
mistakable firmness of character. At the time of his appoint- 
ment to Chile there was little love lost between that country 
and the United States. After the overthrow by the Junta of 
the formerly successful and enlightened Balmaceda, and his 
suicide in December, 1891, the leaders of the revolution cherished 
most hostile sentiments against the United States, believing 
that Strobel's predecessor, Patrick Egan, was misrepresenting 
them in his own country. In this acute state of affairs occurred 
the incident of the landing of the two boatloads of sailors 
from the U.S.S. Baltimore, and of the brawl on shore ending 
with serious and even fatal results. Redress was demanded 
and refused. Thereupon the Yorktown and the Boston ap- 
peared off Valparaiso. President Montt, who had succeeded 
Balmaceda, immediately assumed a more courteous tone, 
apologies were made, and indemnities paid for the men who 
were killed in the affray. Mr. Egan was severely criticized at 
home as well as in Chile, but his course was defended by 
President Harrison. Taking all things into account — es- 
pecially the recent ill-feeling between the two countries and 
the sentiment against Mr. Egan — it does not appear that 
the new Envoy-Plenipotentiary had been dropped on a flowery 
bed of ease by way of diplomatic promotion. It is gratifying 
to recall, however, that Strobel found it possible to say many 
agreeable and commendatory things of Mr. Egan's conduct in 

After a busy and successful experience he resigned the 
Chilean appointment in February, 1897, and actually retired 
from office in August of the same year, but not before he had 
performed one of the most significant acts of his career. a By 
a convention, " I quote here from the Sixth Report of the Sec- 
retary of the Class of 1877 °f Harvard College, " signed July 2, 
1897, between France and Chile, Strobel was appointed arbi- 
trator in the claim by the French citizen Charles Freraut 
against the Government of Chile." Each side, so I have been 
informed, was to name an arbitrator, and these two men were to 
choose a third — three arbiters in all. It was found, however, 
that both parties to the negotiation had named Strobel, who 
was thus constituted the sole arbiter. A compromise of some 
sort was arrived at in this Freraut claim, but the French govern- 


ment, impressed by Strobel's ability and fairmindedness, made 
him an Officer of the Legion of Honor. His experience in Nor- 
thern Africa and this Freraut matter serve to show his peculiar 
capacity for settling a difficulty entirely on his own undivided 
responsibility. In 1898 he published a book on the Spanish 
Revolution, 1868-1875, on which he had been engaged for 
seven years. 

Now twenty-one years out of college and as yet unrecognized 
by her, Strobel was at last to know that his Alma Mater had 
not forgotten him. The Bemis Professorship of International 
Law in Harvard University, according to the terms of the be- 
quest, was to be held only by some one qualified, through actual 
diplomatic service, to teach his subject in a spirit freed by resi- 
dence abroad from ordinary national or sectional prejudices. 
Strobel seemed to meet the requirements of the bequest, and 
this chair was accordingly offered him in June, 1898. Were 
the political structure of this country other than it always has 
been and still continues to be, it would have been deemed a 
most rash thing for a man like Strobel, still in the prime of life, 
to renounce a career for which he had a strong liking and in 
which he had already shown marked ability, in order to settle 
down into routine work even in so honorable a position as a 
professorship in Harvard University. The distinction of the 
offer of this chair at Harvard and the knowledge of the useful 
work he might be able to do appealed favorably to his judg- 
ment, and he therefore accepted the position, without allowing 
the temporary abandonment of a cherished calling to inter- 
fere with the sincerity of his decision and his satisfaction in 
being offered the position. Not only did he give in the Law 
School a half-course in "Admiralty" and a full course in 
" International Law as administered by the Courts," but in 
the College itself, a full course for advanced students on "In- 
ternational Law." His courses were popular, and his manner, 
naturally simple and bearing the stamp of unaffected directness 
characteristic of modern diplomacy of the higher sort, ap- 
pealed favorably to the students, who liked and respected him. 
I am safe in saying that Strobel enjoyed his work at Cambridge, 
although he was hampered by uncertain conditions of health. 
Having seen a good deal of what is called high society, I think 
it possible that the social requirements of a University town 


may have worn a little upon his spirits. Once he mildly said 
to me that in "some respects Cambridge after dark does not 
greatly resemble the night life of Madrid." 

On July 25, 1902, he gave me a hint of the great change 
that was to take place in his career when he wrote: " You will 
greatly add to my obligations if you will send to me one or more 
books giving the fullest and most trustworthy information 
about Siam. I want to find out about the climate, resources, 
government, etc. My mind is at present a blank on the sub- 
ject, and a matter has come up which necessitates my securing 
some information about the country." Shortly after he told 
me that he had been approached through the Siamese Minister, 
then summering on the North Shore, in regard to the possibility 
of his entering the service of his Majesty's Government at 
Bangkok, in the capacity of General Adviser. A Belgian, 
Gustave Rolin-Jaequemyns, had recently died, after filling this 
difficult post with distinction. The King, wishing to take no 
step which might irritate either France or England, each closely 
watchful of the movements of the other in regard to that de- 
batable ground, turned for suggestions and advice to the United 
States, then beginning to cut a larger figure in the world politics 
after the Spanish-American war and the possession of the 
Philippines. The only answer that Strobel could make to the 
tentative offer, reaching him through the powerful endorsement 
of John Hay, was to say with entire frankness that he had 
assumed serious responsibilities in regard to an Arizona mine, 
and that he could not honorably leave the country until this 
matter was settled in some fashion. So the affair drifted for a 
time. In August he wrote me that he fancied the Siamese were 
looking about for other possibilities. That Siam was deter- 
mined to secure him was evident, for in September he was in 
Paris on the " King's business." "I shall be detained here until 
the last of next month," he writes me on September 22. "The 
people who wanted me to come here have some very important 
matters pending in which they have asked my assistance. I 
could not very well refuse. I shall use this as a reason for 
extending the date of my departure from the United States. 
That matter by the way has been thoroughly settled except 
that the engagement is for only two years instead of three. I 
am quite sure that I shall have had enough of it by that time. 


... It is advisable that my appointment should not be 
published yet." 

Writing on October 7, from the Legation de Siam, he says, 
"The Convention between Siam and France was signed this 
morning. This ends the most important business here. I 
hope therefore to be able to leave soon, although there is an- 
other matter pending which may detain me some time longer. 
It has been very interesting and important work. I have been 
under considerable strain and have been kept up late at night, 
so that I am really very tired." Just a week later he writes from 
London: "You may have seen by the papers that the nego- 
tiations in Paris were concluded by the signature of a Conven- 
tion of the 7th instant. This Convention, in return for some 
sacrifices of territory on our part, settled favorably certain ques- 
tions growing out of the events of 1893, which had since that 
time caused a peculiar strain in the relations between the two 

The news of Strobel's appointment was a well-kept secret, 
for not until March, 1903, was the fact made public. The 
usual comments as to the entrance of this country into far- 
Oriental diplomacy were freely made, and national pride, co- 
extensive with a vast ignorance as to the true significance of 
such an appointment, gave the press a fine opportunity for 
rhetorical display. He was given a leave of absence from the 
Law School for two years, and the chair he held was left va- 
cant with the expectation that he might soon fill it again. He 
did not resign this position until the autumn of 1906, after he 
had agreed to remain in Siam for six more years on his return 
from his visit home. It is interesting to recall here that al- 
though President Eliot regretted to lose so valuable a man to 
Harvard University, he advised Strobel to accept the Siamese 
offer for "national reasons." 

We cannot follow in detail his fruitful service in Siam. How- 
ever interesting in international history and to Strobel, the 
full relation belongs elsewhere. 

About a month before his departure for a visit to the United 
States Strobel received from the King a signal mark of royal 
favor, by the bestowal on him of the Grand Cross of the Order 
of the White Elephant. It was a resplendent ornament, and 
Strobel thought most highly of it. The Siam Observer's leading 


editorial of November 17, 1905, explains the occasion of this 
tribute as follows: 

Mr. Strobel is to be greatly congratulated on the distinguished 
honor which His Majesty has conferred upon him; and Americans 
are entitled to feel some special pride in the occasion. It is the high- 
est honor which His Majesty could bestow, and it is memorable as 
a mark of Royal appreciation of signal services rendered by the Gen- 
eral Adviser since his appointment. The first of these services was 
that of assisting in the final adjustment and conclusion of the Franco- 
Siamese Convention which has amongst other effects secured to 
Siam a welcome period of freedom from international worries — a 
period turned to good account in works of domestic legislation. We 
need only briefly recall such recent measures as those for the abolition 
of licensed gambling, the Law of Navigation in Siamese Waters, the 
Hackney Carriage Act, and other more or less important reforms; 
and the minor treaties dealing with matters of jurisdiction concluded 
with Denmark and Italy. In many directions Mr. Strobel has un- 
questionably worked hard and to good purpose, and has rendered to 
His Majesty's Government an amount of assistance of which His 
Majesty has now given the highest possible token of appreciation. 
It will be a matter of legitimate pride to Americans that their coun- 
try has furnished to Siam a diplomatist and statesman whose ripe 
experience has been of such great service to this State. 

There now comes a dark period in my friend's career — a 
period of which I have been able to gather but few details. 
Assuming that he left Bangkok as he had planned on Decem- 
ber 21, Strobel was ardently expected to be present at a dinner 
of his Harvard classmates in Boston in February or March, 
1906. The Secretary of the class, Mr. John F. Tyler, however, 
received no word in answer to a cable sent by him to Strobel 
in January. The first news from our mysteriously silent friend 
seems to have been a cable sent to his mother, dated February 
1, 1906, as follows: "The doctor assures me that I am abso- 
lutely out of danger." He had probably sent or thought that 
he had sent an earlier message or else took it for granted that 
some notice of his illness would be seen in the papers. 

It seems that he arrived in Cairo on January 10, 1906, and 
the following morning saw the pilgrims starting for Mecca. 
That afternoon a slight irritation was felt on his upper lip. 
The next day the lip was swollen and he had a slight chill. The 


swelling soon extended over the whole face, and within the 
next week definite blood-poisoning set in, and three operations 
were performed on his face, with seemingly good results. But 
very soon practically all parts of his body were assailed with 
virulence, and his sufferings were intense. He remained in 
Dr. Milton's hospital for about ten weeks, and before he left 
Cairo the disease had attacked his back. He reached Boston 
much changed by feebleness and long confinement, but his 
mind was still alert and his eyes bright with courage and de- 
termination. In Boston he felt in his own home, for it was here 
that he often expressed a wish to settle down when his active 
days were over. 

With considerable difficulty, and flanked by a small cohort 
of faithful classmates, he was driven to Cambridge on Com- 
mencement Day to receive the degree of Doctor of Laws. 
When he arose, as President Eliot named him for this honor, 
he appeared so wan and shrunken that those who had known 
him in health were shocked to see him. It was this occasion, 
deeply appreciated by him, who had already received many 
worldly honors, that really brought him to Boston and Cam- 
bridge. After the services at Sanders Theatre his indomitable 
will enabled him to get to his classroom, two nights up in 
Holworthy Hall. Many of his classmates, and especially the 
physicians among them, realized that they were probably 
greeting him for the last time. 

He left New York on January 2, 1907, and arrived in 
Siam about the first of March, to find himself plunged at 
once into most exacting and important matters, ending with 
the conclusion of an important treaty with France, which 
may be regarded as the crowning event of StrobePs career; 
in his own words he was "entirely responsible for the 
treaty and [I] think it finally closes all questions with 

While the news in regard to his improving health continued 
to be hopeful, the news came by cable from Mr. Westengard 
that he had died at 6.35 in the afternoon of January 15, 1908. 
The direct cause was uremic poisoning, and Strobel was fully 
aware of the seriousness of his case, retaining as he did full 
consciousness until very shortly before his death. The physi- 
cian who was closest to him at this time, grandson of the 


eminent Mrs. Leonowens, was willing to tell me that Strobel 
watched the progress of his illness with a cool, impersonal 
interest, though it is improbable that he realized the full sig- 
nificance of his condition. From another it was learned that he 
expressed regret that he must lay down his work when there 
was still so much to be done for Siam. But I have no disposi- 
tion to enter fully into the privacy of a friend's last hours. It 
is enough to say that he was deeply mourned by all who ever 
knew him, and by none more sincerely than the Siamese, from 
the King down to the humblest person who ever came in con- 
tact with him. His remains were cremated in the presence of 
the King, February 5, 1909. 

I select a few personal tributes, which show the man rather 
than his public character. First I choose a portion of the words 
written by one who loved him well, as only a teacher can love 
a cherished pupil. They were written for the Boston Daily 
Transcript by our late associate, Dr. William Everett. The 
affection here displayed was generously returned to his 
loved master, who not so much taught Strobel his Latin at 
Harvard as studied that language with him in enthusiastic 
comradeship : 

This notice is not meant to describe his work as a diplomat and a 
publicist. It was not for those that his friends loved him. A pro- 
found thoroughness in all his work, not that of the plodder but of the 
scholar, of the highest type of scholarship; an intellect so quick and 
open that he never needed to have anything explained twice and 
scarcely once; an imperturbable good nature under many provoca- 
tions; a lively sense of humor that added a charming zest to all 
intercourse; gratitude, effusive, yet dignified, for the slightest kind- 
ness, all founded on an unshaken probity and sense of duty — it 
was for these we loved Edward Strobel. It is much, very much, that 
a son of America and Harvard should have won his way to be the con- 
fidential adviser of a Government separated from us by half the 
globe. It is no less that he left in our hearts a sweet glow of loving 
memory that exile could not dim, nor death extinguish. 

Another member of this Society, objecting to that process 
of our national political life by which we continue, in our di- 
plomacy, to get rid of a man as soon as he has proved his effi- 
ciency abroad, says: "It was a career that was in good part 
wasted, for he never obtained his due, and the diplomatic ex- 


perience turned him out of the current in which men like 

obtained more than their due." 

The late Edward Everett Hale, in writing to one of our 
associates at the time of Strobel's death, quotes some words 
of an American gentleman who has identified himself with the 
advance of Siam, and I venture to give here in part what was 

I think it would be fair to say that never in the history of this 
country [Siam] has there been such universal sorrow at the death 
of a European. No man has made such lasting impression in Bang- 
kok in such a short time. He was in Siam only four or five years at 
most, and no man has, to such an extent, won the regard and esteem 
of all classes — the King, the officials of the Siamese Government, 
the diplomatic corps, and the European business men. In his life 
and death, the King showed him most unusual honors, visiting him 
in person when he was ill, and conferring upon him the highest deco- 
rations ever bestowed upon a European in the service of the Siamese 
Government, and finally attending his funeral with his whole court. 
The King was, in very truth, the chief mourner. It grieved him 
sore to part with the man whom he loved with so much confidence. 

It makes us thrill with patriotic pride to think that the foreigner 
of all others whom His Majesty delighted to honor was an Ameri- 
can, and, more than this, that all classes and factions declared that 
he was worthy of these honors. 

Mr. Strobel came to Siam to serve this country, not for the sake 
of what he could make out of the country. And this is true of nearly 
every American who has come here these last hundred years. Al- 
most without exception they have come for service and not for gain. 
I may add that the Siamese Government has not been slow in noting 
this. I think it would be fair to say that America has done more for 
the progress of this nation than all the rest of the world put together. 

Another side of his life is shown in the words of a devout 
Catholic, who, writing from the Via Sistina in Rome, says: 

I shall be proud to remember him before the high altar in the 
Pantheon. What more fitting place to pray for the soul that was so 
pagan in its outward form and beliefs, but so profoundly Christian 
in its true life and expressions ! 

It seems wholly proper to say here that Strobel, though 
remaining outside of that communion, cherished a deep respect 


for the authority and universal spirit of the Roman Catholic 
Church, and that he chafed at all intolerant remarks made 
against it. He felt too intensely, however, the littleness of 
man, in comparison with the incomprehensible vastness of 
the universe, to subscribe to any form of belief which under- 
took to solve the meaning and destiny of human existence. 
The few to whom he ever spoke of such matters will recall 
the deep humility with which he dwelt on the utter insig- 
nificance, as it seemed to him, of the dwellers on this small 

I add one more opinion to show him as he appeared to one — 
a woman — who knew him at his desk, his daily toil. "No 
words," she says, "can fully describe the charm, of his talk, 
nor say why his low laugh was so good to hear, nor explain 
why even a commonplace experience, shared with him, became 
memorable and delightful.'' 

- Shortly after StrobePs death his classmates raised a sum 
amounting in all to more than $3000 to provide for some 
memorial in his honor; $2500, raised at a dinner of the class 
in New York a month after he died, was given to and accepted 
by the President and Fellows of Harvard College for the estab- 
lishment of a fund for the use of the College Library and to be 
called the Edward Henry Strobel Fund. The income is to be 
used for the purchase of works relating to world politics and 
such kindred topics as the expansion of territory, colonization, 
settlement of differences between nations, and other cognate 
subjects, but not necessarily works on international law. 
Works on the Far Eastern problems and especially in Siam, 
where Strobel achieved his highest distinction, receive, accord- 
ing to the terms of the gift, the first consideration. A book-plate 
for volumes purchased from the fund, designed after the 1877 
gate forming part of the enclosure of the College yard, was also 
provided out of this fund. 

The provisions of the gift were drawn carefully in order that 
they might not conflict with another gift, presented to the 
College through the Hon. Jens I. Westengard, Strobel's suc- 
cessor as General Adviser to His Siamese Majesty's Govern- 
ment. This gift, amounting to about $2000, was raised by 
subscription in Siam, and the income is to be devoted to the 
purchase of recent books on Siam. This memorial enables the 


Harvard Library to perpetuate the intention expressed to the 
Library authorities by Strobel to see that the cost of all books 
relating to Siam purchased by the Library should be met by 
him personally. A commemorative tablet, contributed also 
by his college class, has been placed over the entrance of the 
Library reading room of Langdell Hall in the Law School of 
Harvard University. 

It remains only to say somewhat of his personal life and 
characteristics. He was of moderate height, but superbly 
well built — full-chested, with his head finely placed upon 
his neck. His complexion was rather swarthy; his eyes 
brown and full of expression and with a pensiveness charac- 
teristic of many Southerners. A firm chin curved in rather 
sharply to his firm, admirably cut lips, a straight and not 
large nose, and dark eyes, gave him an appearance resem- 
bling in the opinion of some of his friends that of Napoleon in 
earlier life. 

He was not a man of enthusiasms : his intellect was cold and 
penetrating, not easily to be diverted from the point at issue. 
He had, however, high conceptions of friendship and a great 
loyalty to any one who had ever served or even known him. 
Friendship was to him a most solemn obligation that he never 
waived. Such fidelity always finds many only too ready to avail 
themselves of it. He preferred to be duped rather than to turn 
away any one who could ever have claimed acquaintance with 
him. But in the larger affairs of life he was neither to be de- 
ceived nor persuaded into any action contrary to what he 
believed to be right. He was modest and unassuming, but 
also astute. Without cynicism he was somewhat distrustful 
of the motives which control the majority of mankind. This 
distrust drove him back upon his chosen friends, in whom he al- 
ways seemed to place a serene confidence. He believed that 
they were as loyal to him as he certainly was to them, nor 
was he often deceived in his trust. 

Very early in life he had learned the invaluable art of dis- 
carding non-essentials. He would do nothing that he could 
hire some one else to do better. It was his exceeding good 
fortune to draw about him an indescribable loyalty. Men of 
his own type and degree would perform for him services that 
they would regard as menial were they expected by any one 


but Strobel. One who had waited on his numerous wants 
during a troublesome illness complained that he had been 
made a slave of. "That is nothing," said another friend; "I 
have been his slave ever since I first knew him many years ago." 
But such humble offices were most cheerfully rendered, be- 
cause there was always the certainty that Strobel held himself 
ready and always found occasion to make large return, though 
not of just the same kind. 

A contributing cause to his success in the higher ranges of 
human endeavor was his freedom not only from sectional 
but from national prejudices. Had he been born some years 
earlier, he would undoubtedly have played his honorable part 
in the Confederacy, and, all ambitions and hopes destroyed 
by the issue of events, he would in all probability have expa- 
triated himself after the manner, for instance, of the late Judah 
P. Benjamin. As it happened, he was born late enough to 
realize, without the sense of personal defeat, the full significance 
of a conflict the settlement of which by force of arms the South 
had herself sought. He was born a Southerner and remained 
loyal to the traditions of his birthplace, but the way was easily 
opened to become national. He was, it was said at the time 
he entered college, the first South Carolinian to enter Harvard 
after the war, and he found everything there to shape his mind 
in other than a sectional mould. 

All this being so, it is the greater pity that the country of 
which he was a most loyal citizen could not have found con- 
tinuous occupation for his remarkable ability in the field he 
was best fitted to occupy. He too was expatriated by a po- 
litical method still too crude to retain the uninterrupted ser- 
vices of the ablest men as representatives abroad. Nor can it 
be fairly said that our loss was his gain, for his training all 
pointed toward higher achievements in diplomacy abroad in 
the interests of the United States. 

He had elements of greatness — courage, persistence, the 
power of elimination of non-essentials, a ready grasp on the 
illuminating point. He was truthful, honest, simple. He 
commanded fidelity and confidence in his own ability. If he 
was somewhat lacking in the true radical's idealism and imagi- 
native power, his character was buttressed by conservative 
upbringing and sound conclusions from ascertained fact. He 


did not pretend to read the future by the stars, but found 
full employment in disentangling and rehabilitating some of the 
pressing questions of the day. His work in Siam fully shows 
that he was not without the instinct as well as the power of 
what we call greatness. 



THE stated meeting was held on Thursday, the nth in- 
stant, at three o'clock, p. m.; the second Vice-President, 
Mr. Warren, in the absence of the President, in the chair. 

The record of the last meeting was read and approved; and 
the Librarian reported the list of donors to the Library since 
the last meeting. 
The Cabinet-Keeper reported the following gifts: 

From the New York Times, Russom's drawing of the late Charles 
Francis Adams, which appeared in that paper, March 26, 1916. 

From Mr. Alfred Bowditch, six caricatures of British public char- 
acters, drawn by James Sayers or Sayer (1 748-1823) and etched and 
published, April- July, 1782, by C. Bretherton. The persons repre- 
sented are: Lords Amherst, North, Shelburne, and Sandwich; the 
Marquis of Rockingham and Colonel Barre — all connected with 
the history of America. 

From Mr. Frank W. Bayley, three photographs: of Mrs. Sarah 
Savage, wife of Samuel Phillips Savage, from a portrait by Copley; 
of their son's wife, Mrs. Samuel Savage, from a portrait by Stuart; 
and of their granddaughter, Mrs. Lemuel Shaw, wife of the Chief- 
Justice, from a portrait by Francis Alexander. 

From Mr. H. A. Gray, a Franklin medal, the very first of the series 
dated 1808, also twenty-five cent pieces of recent dates, and a Bahan 
store card. 

From Mr. Frederick T. Widener, the medal of the Concord School, 
and the medal of Company B, Massachusetts Volunteer Militia. 

From Mr. C. P. Bowditch, the Butler Richmond medal in pewter, 

From the Bostonian Society, the Boston City medal, 1827, awarded 
to Almira Homer. 

The Corresponding Secretary reported the receipt of a letter 
from Thomas Russell Sullivan accepting his election as a 
Resident Member of the Society, 

The Editor reported the following gifts: 

From Mr. Francis Reginald Bangs, the ms. Diaries of Benjamin 
and Isaac Bangs, of whom he writes: "Benjamin Bangs, according 


to the record that I have of him, 1 was the fifth in descent from the 
original immigrant, Edward Bangs, and was born June 24, 1721, and 
died October 31, 1769. Isaac, his son, was born December n, 1752, 
and died September 12, 1780, unmarried. Isaac graduated from 
Harvard College in 1 77 1 . He was my father's great-uncle. My father 
published the journal of Isaac in 1890; but the journal of Benjamin 
has, so far as I know, never been published. It seemed to me that 
those original documents were too valuable to be kept in private 
ownership, where they might be lost or scattered, and therefore I 
have decided to give them to your Society in memory of my father, 
who was a member of it." 2 There are four volumes of Benjamin 
Bangs' diary: 1, January 1, 1742-43-May 31, 1749; n, July 16, 1759- 
July 13, 1761; in, July 14, 1761-June 23, 1763; and iv, June 24, 
1763 — December 4, 1765. 

From Mr. Charles Moore, of Detroit, Mich., a diary of Abigail 
Livermore, wife of Rev. Elisha Scott Williams. She was born 
November 20, 1758, in Waltham, Mass., was married in her home 
August 30, 1780, and died July, 1818, in Boston, Mass. The town 
of Livermore, Me., was named for her father, and she and her hus- 
band went there as settlers, were converted, and he entered the Bap- 
tist ministry, serving for many years as pastor of the church in 
Beverly. He was a descendant of Governors Thomas Dudley, Simon 
Bradstreet and Rev. John Cotton. With the diary, which extends 
from 1809 to 1 8 13, Mr. Moore gives a type-written copy, notes on 
Mr. and Mrs. Williams, and the military record of Rev. Mr. Williams. 

From Miss Susanna Willard, a MS. catalogue of the library of her 
father, Joseph Willard. 

Francis Apthorp Foster, of Edgartown, was elected a Res- 
ident Member of the Society; and Charles Downer Hazen, of 
Washington, D. C, a Corresponding Member. 

Announcement was made of the appointment of the follow- 
ing Committees: 

House Committee: Grenville H. Norcross, J.- Collins 
Warren, and Worthington C. Ford. 

Finance Committee: Henry Cabot Lodge, Grenville H. 
Norcross, and Charles P. Greenough. 

Committee to Publish the Proceedings: Henry Cabot 
Lodge, James Ford Rhodes, and Edward Stanwood. 

It was voted that the income of the Massachusetts Historical 

1 A copy has been placed in the Society by Mr. Bangs. 

2 Edward Bangs (1825-1894) was elected a member of this Society, June 11, 
1884. A memoir of him will be found in 2 Proceedings, x. 311. 


Trust Fund for the financial year be retained in the treasury, 
to be expended in such objects as may seem desirable to the 
Council of the Society. 
Mr. Warren then read the following paper on 

Contemporaneous Opinion. 

In reading the recently published autobiography of our late 
President, Charles Francis Adams — as interesting a work as in 
many respects it certainly is extraordinary — we are reminded, 
by that part of it which treats of his experiences in Washington 
just before and after the inauguration of Lincoln, and of his 
opportunities for listening to the conversation and speeches of 
such men as Secretary Seward, Senators Sumner, Crittenden, 
Fessenden, and others (including his own distinguished father), 
of the old question as to the reliability and value of contem- 
poraneous opinion of men and events. 

Mr. Adams is characteristically sweeping in his view of the 
opinions and attitude of the men he met. We are not now so 
much concerned with the exactness of his statements as we 
are with the evidence furnished elsewhere of the statements 
and conclusions of the eminent statesmen referred to and of 
others of that period. It is clear enough now that none of the 
statesmen of the time before the Civil War really grasped the 
situation or sized up correctly the actions and purposes of 
the leading men in the opposing sections of the country. 

The evident doubt and indecision of the winter of 1861, 
the futile talk of compromises of a matter that it was then too 
late to compromise, the hesitation as to the use of force even 
after the change of Administration, the confusion of thought 
and narrowness of vision of men of all parties — show plainly 
enough that up to that time public opinion had not clari- 
fied, and that the opinions of our ablest men were extremely 

Mr. Adams suggests that our leaders were more concerned 
with discussing the abstract question of the technical right of 
secession than they were of taking practical steps to suppress 
what was really a revolution. There is some ground for his 
conclusion; but however that may be, there is plenty of proof 
that the statesmen of the North failed then to appreciate the 


earnestness and intensity of view of the Southern leaders, and 
those of the South were equally unaware of the strong Union 
feeling of the North and of its determination to preserve the 
Union unbroken. Undoubtedly, apart from all this, there re- 
mained the slavery question, but at the outset of the Civil 
War it can hardly be maintained that that was the determining 
factor, at least at the North. While a considerable body North 
and South based their whole thought and action upon that 
question of slavery, the country as a whole had not yet consol- 
idated its opinion upon the subject so far as it related to the 
war — the main question being then the preservation or destruc- 
tion of the Union. 

If we seek contemporaneous opinion therefore at that early 
state, we find it confused and misleading, and a sound histori- 
cal judgment upon men and events has to be made up from the 
light thrown upon them by the later development of facts, and 
by more exact knowledge as to the part played by individual 

In other words, while we get something from the views ex- 
pressed by prominent men of the day, we find that as a whole 
their judgments were inclined to be hasty and incorrect, and 
that they were not borne out by the test of later knowledge. 

Considering that period alone, we can attach comparatively 
little importance to the opinions of contemporary actors or 
writers; though they are not to be entirely disregarded, for 
with all their narrowness and disagreement there is a stratum 
of truth in their conclusions, and we find that later history in 
its estimate of the principal actors of the period confirms to a 
degree contemporaneous opinions, and in some cases not only 
agrees to, but emphasizes them. 

Napoleon in one of his glittering generalizations said that 
" History was a pack of lies that had been agreed upon" — the 
general view has been the other way if anything, that it was 
more nearly a pack of lies that had not been agreed upon — 
but if there is a grain of truth in the first statement it gains 
whatever force it has from history that has been made up of 
contemporaneous opinion unconfirmed by later and more 
exhaustive study. I do not know of any more noteworthy 
example than that of Napoleon himself, for history after the 
lapse of a hundred years and a deluge of books upon the sub- 


ject has not yet accepted or thoroughly digested the lies or the 
truths of his meteoric career. John C. Ropes, the student of 
Napoleon, said to me, a few weeks before his death, that, not- 
withstanding the countless lives of Napoleon, his real history 
was yet to be written. 

If that statement holds true, one may well despair of getting 
at the truth of history from contemporaneous sources, even 
when fortified by a vast array of later facts. 

The comparatively short history of our own country gives 
us interesting and rather striking instances, not only of the 
fallibility of contemporaneous judgment, but also in individual 
cases of its general correctness. I do not mean by " contem- 
poraneous judgment" the mere clamor of the multitude at 
any particular period, but the deliberate judgment so far as it 
can be ascertained of the majority of thoughtful men. 

The discussion still rages whether the contemporaneous 
opinions of our Puritan ancestors regarding Roger Williams, 
Anne Hutchinson, and the Quaker element were correct or not 
under the conditions that confronted the early settlers. Until 
recently the contemporaneous opinion of Governor Hutchinson 
of pre-Revolutionary character remained practically undis- 
turbed, but to-day that opinion seems to be completely re- 
versed. If I read modern history aright, though nothing too 
severe or denunciatory could be said of Hutchinson in his 
lifetime, now the predominant view of him is that upon the 
whole he was an upright, able, and patriotic man, mistaken 
in his political ideas, but striving for what he considered the 
best interest of his own country. 

Consider the men foremost in the American Revolution. 
Washington — an exception to all rules — was apparently 
estimated by his contemporaries upon much the same basis as 
in later times, the only change being that reverence and ad- 
miration for him have increased. The same in a less degree 
seems true of Franklin; but if in these marked instances con- 
temporaneous opinion seems more than justified, can the same 
be said of Hamilton, Adams, and Jefferson? Of the two former it 
may be said that in large measure it does, but that the con- 
temporaneous opinion was not so clear and positive as that of 
a later day, and that the modern public estimate of their sur- 
passing abilities and force of character is not so much different 


from that of their contemporaries as it is higher and more 

Of Jefferson, however, there has been a complete reversal of 
judgment — not so much as to the opinion generally held of 
him during the Revolution, as of that after the' war, when po- 
litical feeling ran high and partisanship had grown bitter. 
Popular as Jefferson then was with the masses, no man was 
ever more subject to detraction and abuse than he, and it is 
not too much to say that in his time by the great majority of 
the thoughtful men of the country he was considered a wily 
demagogue who was using his acknowledged ability to very 
little honest or useful purpose. One reads with a smile the 
fierce invectives and attacks upon him by the wisest and purest 
statesmen and writers of the day; for time in his case has 
worked wonders and he is now extolled in history and praised 
by nearly all writers as one of our .ablest, greatest, and sin- 
cerest patriots. I do not know in our history of any more 
notable change of view. 

If we had time to discuss it here, we should find, I think, that 
what is true of the men of the Revolution is equally true as to 
the change of view in modern times regarding the real causes 
of that war, and the influence of its success upon the world at 

Daniel Webster's paragraph, in which he said "America 
fought seven years for a preamble," has been often quoted, and 
until recently with general approval; but modern opinion does 
not accept that view, and though it may tend to lower ideals, 
maintains that preambles and theories as to taxation without 
representation, or as to oppressive taxation, etc., were in reality 
mere pretexts for a revolution that had its real foundation in 
the desire for complete liberty, and the growing feeling that, 
as the Thirteen Colonies had for a century or more practically 
managed their own affairs, they were strong enough and able 
enough to do without the guidance of the mother country. 
Not that the leaders did not believe in the reality of the pretexts, 
but they were, after all, things to conjure with, while the masses 
who worked and fought were influenced by less subtle motives, 
and were inspired, whether they recognized it or not, by the 
belief in their own manhood and in their inherent right to free- 
dom and independence. 


Nor was the contemporaneous view of American or foreign 
statesmen as to the result of the war the same as that of after 
years. No one at the time foresaw the rising of this vast empire 
or realized the profound influence to be exerted upon Europe 
by the successful assertion here of the principles of popular 

As throwing light upon the value of contemporaneous 
opinion, we may well consider the history of a few of our 
public men — some of them Presidents of the United States, 
men concerning whom the public judgment clearly crystallized 
at the time, and over whom heated controversy has since raged. 

To Jefferson we have already referred. Turn now to that 
prominent and active figure in our history, Andrew Jackson. 
Certainly over him, in his own time and for long after, the fiercest 
controversy existed. Like Jefferson, he was the idol of the 
masses, but like him also, among thoughtful men, partic- 
ularly in New England, he was regarded as headstrong, un- 
principled, and dangerous. Yet that does not appear the 
verdict of history, for time has so far softened the asperity of 
political conflict and the prejudices of the day that he is now 
generally accepted as an able, forcible, patriotic man, whose 
disagreeable and unattractive qualities may be overlooked in 
the recognition of his real service to his country. 

Or, coming down a few years, recall the contemporaneous 
opinion of Daniel Webster after his famous 7th of March speech. 
It is within the memory of many now living — how much 
bitterness that speech evoked, and how suddenly he was cast 
down from his high pedestal of popularity and denounced as 
a traitor to the moral judgment of the people. 

Yet time has quickly reversed that judgment as hasty and 
ill considered; Webster's patriotic purpose and devotion to 
the Union of the States have been recognized by many who 
condemned him, and a grateful people have come to a realizing 
sense that to Webster more than to any other man the country 
was indebted for that intense Union feeling that did so much to 
sustain the North in the long civil conflict. The modern judg- 
ment of Webster is more nearly that of his contemporaries 
before the 7th of March, without, of course, the marked per- 
sonal adoration. The clear resemblance between the principles 
of the speech of March, 1850, and the declaration of Abraham 


Lincoln that his duty was to restore the Union with or without 
slavery, has been noted by many writers, and it has been urged 
that Daniel Webster's speeches had great influence in mould- 
ing the views of Lincoln. 

If we accept Adams' account of the doubt and uncertainty 
existing in the early part of Lincoln's administration — and 
there is other abundant evidence to confirm it — we may well 
hesitate to adopt to the full the contemporaneous opinion 
of that much blamed and much criticised President, James 
Buchanan. The indictment of his weakness and vacillation is 
a formidable one, but later facts have disclosed more fully the 
enormous difficulties of the situation, the perplexity of the 
people, and the painful disagreement among our wisest men as 
to the proper course that should be pursued. 

Perhaps at this distant day the mantle of charity can be 
dropped over a man advanced in years, suddenly called upon 
to face a dire catastrophe, betrayed by his former advisers, 
and uncertain where to turn for counsel or support. The opin- 
ion of his time as to Buchanan may be clearly right, but he is 
a bold man who can with confidence assert that the verdict 
of history has yet been finally rendered. 

The caution as to too positive assertion of the verdict of 
history in Buchanan's case is doubly strengthened if we recall, 
however unwillingly, contemporaneous opinions of Lincoln 
before the Emancipation Proclamation. His popularity was 
great, but many now remember how severely he was criticised 
by a portion of the ablest and wisest men of his own political 
party, and how vehement was the opposition of some of them 
to his renomination. Even of the great speech at Gettysburg 
it may truly be said that there was not instant appreciation of 
its eloquence and beauty. Though contemporaneous opinion 
did acclaim Lincoln as a great leader, it was somewhat at fault 
in its estimate, for not until after his death was the grandeur of 
his character fully understood and appreciated. 

We turn from the impressive figure of Abraham Lincoln to 
the uninspiring character of his successor, Andrew Johnson; 
yet even he illustrates to a degree the subject we are consider- 
ing, for public opinion of him in his day was clearly formed, 
and few men have been the object of such virulent contempo- 
raneous criticism and abuse. Has the judgment of the time 


in his case been confirmed by later opinion? I hardly think it 
has to the full extent. It is now universally conceded by com- 
petent authorities that the impeachment proceedings were 
upon the flimsiest of legal pretexts and the result of hostile 
political scheming. The diary of Johnson's Secretary of the 
Navy, Gideon Welles, published within a few years, has pre- 
sented a picture of Johnson so different from the previously 
accepted view that it has had undoubted effect in to some 
extent rehabilitating him in the public estimate. I am inclined 
to think that to-day's judgment of Johnson is not that of his 
contemporaries, and that he is now generally regarded as a 
man who was honest and sincere, and who honestly strove to 
benefit his country, but that unfortunately he was the victim 
of his own narrowmindedness, obstinacy, and lack of political 
tact and experience. 

Of the later Presidents it is too early yet to form a sure esti- 
mate, although it appears probable that of those deceased, the 
reputation of only one or two has remained as high as the 
contemporaneous estimate. 

Of the prominent statesmen of our country, such as Calhoun, 
Clay, Seward, Crittenden, Douglas, Sumner, and others that 
could be named, while time does not allow in a paper like this 
of detailed discussion, my general conclusion would be that, 
possibly with the exception of Calhoun, no one of them is esti- 
mated to-day as highly as he was by his contemporaries. 

The same may be said of a number of English statesmen who 
in their day were considered great men. The modern estimate 
of most of them is not as high as that of their contemporaries, 
although of some, such as Cromwell, William III, Burke, 
Chatham, and Charles James Fox, it may be said that they 
have a higher rank as statesmen now, than during their 

One class I omit entirely, because it seems pretty clear that 
contemporaneous opinion in their case has remained practically 
unshaken — that is, great military leaders. Probably the 
conspicuousness of their careers or the fact that success or 
failure was determined in their lifetime led to a clearer contem- 
porary judgment. While opinions differ as to their compara- 
tive merits and their moral characters, it appears to be true 
that military men of the first rank who were considered great 


by their contemporaries have almost invariably held their 
positions in the view of later generations. 

That can hardly be said of those who in their time were con- 
sidered great poets, novelists, or writers. While some of them 
have held their own, or even increased their reputations, the 
fashion or taste of later generations has worked havoc with the 
contemporaneous opinion of the greater number. 

I have recalled to your minds these few typical cases, mostly 
from our own country because more readily recognized, as a 
sort of test of the question whether or not any general rule can 
be found. From these examples and others that may readily 
occur to you, can any conclusion be drawn? I fancy there 
can be, and that it can pretty safely be said that contempo- 
raneous opinion of really great men — men whose fame is 
permanent enough to reach down through later generations — 
has been found to be substantially correct, leaning rather to 
an under- than an over-estimate, but when we come to a lower 
standard of greatness that the opinion of the times as to men 
eminent in their own day and generation, but not to be classed 
as the world's great leaders, is unreliable and has not unfre- 
quently to be reversed. 

The exceptions seem to be with men who in their day achieved 
a high degree of ^popularity, but who made their mark by 
their ability and force of character. Contemporaneous opinion 
in their cases — unless the men were conspicuously bad or 
corrupt — appears to be utterly untrustworthy. For many 
who were the subject of temporary prejudice or dislike have 
survived the storm of contemporaneous detraction and abuse, 
and by their nobler qualities won, if not the approval of later 
times, at least a more charitable consideration. These cases 
are so frequent as almost to establish a general rule. 

In so short a paper as this I cannot pretend to a thorough 
discussion of the subject. It is a most interesting study, and I 
have no ground for quarrel if the views I express fail to carry 
conviction; realizing, as I must, that generalizing upon such a 
subject is a hazardous undertaking, and lays one open to the 
charge that too few instances have been considered to per- 
mit of safe conclusions. 

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The Sale of Matchebiguatus, 1644. 

Mr. Lord exhibited a manuscript signed by Edward Winslow 
and said: 

At the March meeting of this Society in 1878, * the President, 
Mr. Robert C. Winthrop, communicated an original letter of 
Edward Winslow, the Pilgrim Governor, addressed to 

Mr. Bradford, Mr. Prence, and the rest of our ancient partners: 

After divers and sundry treaties with Mounsier Latour and sundry 
the gentlemen of Boston concerning our loss and wrong at Mache- 
biguatus by Mounsier D'Alney, this last of the month, and last of 
the week at afternoon, I have made over our right and title to the 
Fort there, &c, to John Winthrop, Junior, Esq., Capt. Major Ed- 
ward Gibbons and Capt. Thomas Hawkins, of Boston, their heirs, 
associates and assigns. And because I cannot stay to perfect the 
things, Mr. Winthrop, Junr. is bound to me on the behalf of the rest, 
that if Mounsier Latour shall not pay unto me to your and my [illegi- 
ble] use, the sum of two hundred pounds sterling upon the taking of 
the said Fort, at the house of Valentine Hill, merchant of Boston, 
if so much goods be in it, or if not, in one or two years after the taking 
of the same, in beaver or moose skins, and give not bond obligatory 
for that end forthwith, that then the said deed by me made to be 
void and of none effect, or else to stand in full power, force, and virtue. 

Now the thing desired by them and me is that yourselves, the 
rest of the partners therein, will be pleased to manifest your consent 
by some joynt writing herewith. Thus having nothing more to write 
thereabout take leave and remain 

Yours as his own, 

Edw. Winslow. 
Cambridge, this last of Aug., 1644. 

The editors' note explains that "The 'loss and wrong' which 
the Plymouth people sustained by D'Aulney occurred at their 
fort, in what is now Castine, on the Penobscot River, in 1635," 
and cites as references for a full account of the event Bradford's 
History, Winthrop's History, and Wheeler's History of Castine 
In that note the editors further say: "We find no reference, 
either in Bradford or Winthrop, to the settlement effected by 
Winslow, as described in this letter." 

1 1 Proceedings, xvi. in. 


I submit to-day for examination, and for publication in our 
Proceedings, the original instrument, signed by Edward Winslow 
as present Governor of Plymouth, to John Winthrop, Jr., 
Sergeant Major Edward Gibbons, and Captain Thomas Haw- 
kins, of Boston, the three persons named in the letter. This 
original document in the handwriting of Edward Winslow, 
and bearing his signature and seal, was recently presented to 
the Pilgrim Society by Mr. Theodore P. Adams, and reads as 
follows : 

Whereas about ten yeares since Mouns'r D'Aulney under a pre- 
tence or color of Commerce did violently and injuriously take a pos- 
session out of the Hands and custody of the Agent and servts of 
Edward Winslow William Bradford Thomas Prence and other their 
partners at Matchebiguatus in Penobscot together with divers and 
sundry goods to their great losse, even to the valew of five hundred 
pounds or thereabout. And forasmuch as no satisfaccon hath ever 
been made and tendred by the sd Mouns'r DAulney for the sd 
possession or goods or by any his Agents The sd Edw Winslow for 
himselfe and partners hath and doth by these presents fully surrender 
and make over his and their p[art] I[nterest?] right and title not onely 
to the said possession of lands in Matchebiguatus aforesaid but to 
their Fortificacon howsing losse and damages rights and privi- 
ledges thereunto belonging to Joh. Winthrop junior Esqr Serjant 
Major Edw. Gibbons, and Capt. Thomas Hawkins all of Boston in 
New Engl, to them their heires Associates and Assignes for ever. 
Allowing and investing them with all such lawfull power by force of 
Arms or otherwise to recover the said Possession Fortificacon hows- 
ing lands goods etc. to them the said Edw. William, Thomas, and 
other their partners at Machebiguatus aforesaid appertayning. 
And the same to have and to hold ocupy and enjoy to them the 
said Joh. Winthrop [junior] Esq. Serjant Major Edw. Gibbons and 
Captaine Thomas Hawkins their heires Associates and Assignes for 
ever together with all such priviledges as appertayneth thereunto. 
In witnes whereof the said Edward Winslow hath put to his hand 
and seale the last of August 1644 

Per me Edw: Winslow Gov't at present 

(Seal) of New Plym. 

Witnesses hereunto 

Herbert Pelham 

John Browne 

The trading settlement at Penobscot was on a peninsula, 
later known as Matchebiguatus, or by contraction Bagaduce 

19 1 6.] THE SALE OF MATCHEBIGUATUS, 1 644. 359 

Point, at the mouth of the Penobscot, and in 1631, upon the 
death of Ashley and the discharge of Allerton, this trading 
post became wholly at the disposal of the Pilgrims. 

In 1635 D'Aulney came into the harbor of Penobscot and 
took possession of the trading house in the name of the King 
of France, and compelled Mr. Willett, the agent of the Pilgrim 
company there, to approve of the sale of its goods to him, but 
made no payment for them, as Bradford states: "For the house 
and fortification, etc. he would not alow nor accounte anything, 
saing that they which build on another mans ground doe for- 
fite the same." 1 

Willett returned to Plymouth, reported the incident of the 
robbery of its goods by the French, involving a loss to the 
Colony of five hundred pounds, whereupon the Plymouth 
company, after conference with the Massachusetts Bay 
Company, hired a ship of three hundred tons, well fitted with 
ordnance, and agreed with the master that in consideration of 
700 pounds of beaver he was to surprise and drive out the 
French, and put the Plymouth men in full possession of the 
trading house and goods. 

With Captain Girling, the master of the ship, they sent their 
own bark and some twenty men with Captain Standish, to 
aid him if necessary, and then if the house was recaptured to 
pay him the beaver, which they prudently kept aboard their 
own bark. 

The attack failed by the mismanagement of Captain Girling, 
and his powder having been exhausted he sent Captain Standish 
to the next plantation to procure more powder. Standish, 
learning that Girling's plan was to seize on the bark and sur- 
prise the beaver, sent the powder to Girling and returned to 
Plymouth with his bark and beaver. Girling did not renew 
his assault, "but went his way; and this was the end of this 
business. " 2 

In the nine years that followed the Plymouth Company was 
unable, unaided by the Massachusetts Bay Company, to re- 
cover the trading post or secure any redress, and finally in 
1644 conveyed, by the instrument signed by Winslow, its 
title to the property and its claims for damages to Winthrop, 

1 Bradford, History (ed. 191 2), 11. 207. 
* lb., an. 


Gibbons, and Hawkins for two hundred pounds, a somewhat 
pitiful return for their substantial losses. 
Mr. Ford in his note says that : 

In August, 1644, Winslow went to Boston and there held "divers 
and sundry treaties with Monsieur Latour and sundry the gentle- 
men of Boston," concerning the loss and wrong committed by Aulnay 
in taking the Plymouth fort at Penobscot. The resulting agreement 
is not clearly expressed in Winslow's letter, printed in Mass. Hist. 
Soc. Proceedings, xvi. in,but the terms of the "deed," as given in 
the note on pp. 220-221 of the second volume of Savage's Win- 
throp, are illuminative. 1 

Mr. Savage in his note 2 refers to a "curious document given 
me by the late Judge Davis," which document he sets out in 
the note in full, and is the instrument signed by Winslow, which 
is here submitted. When this document was first called to my 
attention it was in an envelope with a copy of the paper in the 
handwriting of Mr. Savage. 

In the instrument as published in Savage's note a singular 
and obvious error appears. This instrument as printed in the 
note begins with the recital "Whereas about two years since." 
It should read ten instead of two, as appears by an inspection 
of the original; and moreover the event referred to was the 
capture by D 'Aulnay of the Penobscot trading post, which 
occurred in 1635, and not about two years prior to the date of 
the instrument, which is August 1, 1644. 

The whole story of the loss by the Plymouth company of 
their fort on the Penobscot and their negotiations with the 
Massachusetts Bay Company for its return, is so fully told in 
the texts of Win throp and Bradford, and in Mr. Ford's notes, 
that a more extended account is unnecessary here. The seal 
on the instrument used by Winslow is also worthy of passing 
notice. The design is that of a pelican feeding its young, which 
appears to have been the seal used by Winslow while in this 
country. 3 

1 Bradford, History, 11. 208. 

2 Winthrop, 11. 220. 

3 Morton, New England's Memorial (Davis ed.), 468, 481; 4 Mass. Hist. 
Collections, vi. plate 11; 1 Proceedings, I. 1 n, 284 n. 


Mr. Murdock read the following paper on 

Historic Doubts on the Battle of Lexington. 

On the 2d of September, 1824, Lafayette was a visitor in 
Concord, and the Hon. Samuel Hoar took occasion to remind 
him in a public address that he stood upon the spot where 
"the first forcible resistance" was made to the British arms. 
This simple assertion proved in a measure epoch making. A 
half century had passed since the great events to which Mr. 
Hoar referred, but his claim for Concord roused a storm of 
protest in Lexington. A bitter controversy ensued, and local 
pride and local historians were stirred to an extent that im- 
perilled historic truth. The town of Lexington took official 
cognizance of the Concord claim, and Elias Phinney, Esq., 
was charged with the task of demonstrating to all impartial 
minds that it was at Lexington and not at Concord that the 
embattled farmer fired that far-echoing shot that heralded 
American independence. To assist Phinney in his work de- 
positions were extracted from ten aged citizens of Lexington, 
some of whom fifty years before had attended that early morn- 
ing roll-call on the Common. Those venerable men, who in 
1775 had been anxious to prove the peaceful intent and behav- 
ior of the minutemen, were now summoned to lend color to 
quite a contradictory theory. The Hon. Edward Everett, who 
delivered the oration at Concord on the fiftieth anniversary of 
the battle, was placed in a delicate position, and disclaimed 
any intention of pronouncing "on questions in controversy." 
Phinney 's pamphlet on the battle appeared in 1825. Concord 
had old men of her own, and they were summoned into the lists 
to support contentions put forth by the Rev. Ezra Ripley, who 
published his anti-Lexington tract in 1827. The whole dispute 
seems strangely trivial to us now. It is hard to account for the 
time and ink that were wasted in the fruitless controversy, the 
recriminations and bitterness of spirit that involved the clergy 
of neighboring towns, the wild straining at historical gnats 
and the wholesale swallowing of legendary camels, and all be- 
cause of the phrasing of one sentence by the Hon. Samuel Hoar. 
Lexington had not always been as sensitive as she was in 1824. 1 

1 The Memoirs of Major-General William Heath made their appearance in 
1798 and contained an account of the 19th of April that was entirely in har- 


No one in Concord had impugned the valor of her minutemen, 
and it was as clear then as it is now that Captain Parker's 
company did their full duty on the 19th of April, 1775, and 
that in a crisis when courage and resolution were animating 
the hearts of thousands of Massachusetts men they well deserve 
the title of the bravest of the brave. 

Two results of this controversy are worth noting: the first, 
a development of local interest and enthusiasm in the subject 
that remains unimpaired as bitterness has waned; the second, 
the accumulation of a mass of questionable evidence that in 
exaggerated forms has gradually become accepted as history. 
It was certainly a keen revival of interest that started Phinney 
on his task, and every one of sufficient years in Lexington must 
have racked his brains for some memory of the great day. 
In 1863 the poet Longfellow became inspired with the subject, 
and in glorifying Paul Revere innocently robbed William 
Dawes and Dr. Prescott of well-earned honors. "Tradition, 
legend, tune, and song " all played their part in the reconstruc- 
tion of the Lexington story, until the schoolboy of my genera- 
tion, however dull in history, knew for facts that Revere rode 
into Concord before dawn with news that the regulars were 
out, and that Major Pitcairn stirred his whiskey in the Concord 
Tavern with blood-curdling threats that would have done 
credit to a pirate king. 

The new evidence based on memories of fifty years ago 
served no good historical end. We know that old men forget. 
We know too that they sometimes chatter glibly of events 
that never happened, or, as Shakespeare has it, " they remember 
with advantages." Is it too much to say that the depositions 
of 1824, whether taken in Concord or Lexington, must be re- 
garded in a different light from those of 1775, and that in them 
it is hard to sift the wheat from the chaff or to weigh the 
probabilities as to truth or error? To my mind material of this 
sort should be reserved for appendices and illustrative notes and 
not included in the body of an historical work. Bancroft thought 
otherwise, and successive historians have been of his opinion. 

By way of illustrating what I have said concerning the 
evolution of the Lexington story let me have recourse to a 

mony with the claim of Mr. Hoar. Moreover, the Lexington company came in 
for a word of criticism that will be found quoted in a subsequent note. 


recent edition of Hudson's History, published by the historical 
society of that town. This is embellished with four views of 
the battle of Lexington — three reproduced from rare prints, 
the fourth from Sandham's painting, which is the property of 
the society and hangs in the Town Hall. The earliest print to 
be reproduced is that of Doolittle, engraved in the fall of 1775, 
and it is to be noted that Pendleton, Billings, and Sandham 
all portray the scene from the same spot, giving the same land- 
scape that Doolittle depicted. You know the story of this Doo- 
little print, now so rare as to torment the dreams of collectors : 
how Doolittle and Earl came up to the Boston siege in a Con- 
necticut regiment; how in the summer they gained permission 
to visit Lexington and Concord ; how Earl sketched the scenes 
and invested them with the military episodes of the day, and 
how Doolittle engraved the sketches and offered them for sale 
at James Lockwood's store, near the College in New Haven. 
Crude in draughtsmanship and engraving they yet form a 
series of inestimable historical value. The work of provincial 
artists serving in Washington's army, they give us in pictorial 
form the story of Lexington and Concord as it was accepted 
in the American camp. If you will examine the faithful re- 
production of the Doolittle print in the book I have mentioned, 
you will notice that the British are firing by platoons and that 
the Lexington company is dispersing in all directions. Even 
the magnifying glass fails to reveal any member of that company 
in an attitude of resistance; no suggestion of a return fire or even 
of loading. One wonders why the title was not engraved the 
massacre instead of the battle of Lexington. Evidently our 
Connecticut soldiers felt that the facts of the case or political 
expediency justified such a treatment of the subject. Let 
me call your attention further to the fact that our reproduc- 
tion of the Doolittle print is not from the original of 1775, but 
from the reduced replica which Doolittle executed in 1832 for 
Barber's History of New Haven. There could have been no 
political considerations to influence him at that time. Lex- 
ington was then stoutly asserting the belligerency of her 
minutemen, and yet Doolittle varied in no detail from his con- 
ception of nearly sixty years before. It is still a massacre, 
perpetrated upon armed but unresisting men. 
The next picture to be noted in chronological order is Pen- 


dleton's lithograph after Doolittle, executed about 1830. 
Pendleton had evidently given heed to the current controversy 
and to the Lexington depositions of 1824. The British are 
firing, the minutemen are dispersing as Doolittle portrayed 
them, but eight devoted souls are still facing their enemies, 
six of whom are returning the British fire while two are loading. 
This is the picture which stirred the ire of Lemuel Shattuck of 
Concord as a misrepresentation calculated to perpetuate error. 1 

When we come to the Billings sketch, executed a quarter of a 
century later and which was used to adorn the first edition of 
Hudson's Lexington in 1868, we find the dispersing confined to 
the extreme left of the line, while the firing has been extended 
to a round dozen or more. The Sandham painting of 1886 
throws off all restraint and departs definitely from the Doolittle 
idea. Here at last is a battle indeed. Where in Sandham 's 
spirited work is there any sign of wavering, any suggestion of 
dispersing? The line holds firm from end to end, while, unterri- 
fied by the running blaze of British musketry and the sight of 
stricken comrades, the minutemen stand grimly to their work, 
emptying their firelocks at close range into that broad and glit- 
tering target that is offered by the Light Infantry. Is this a 
true picture of what occurred on Lexington Common, or does 
it violate the truth beyond the limits of poetical license? I 
shall have occasion to refer to this picture again, but for the 
moment I leave this query with you as suggesting the basis 
for an historic doubt. 

Sir George Trevelyan, in commenting upon Concord and 
Lexington, says: that " pages and pages have been written about 
the history of each ten minutes in that day, and the name of 
every colonist who played a part is a household word in Amer- 
ica." He might have added that the result of this vast torrent 
of words that has accumulated since 1825 has been to obscure 
simple historical facts commonly accepted before that time, 

1 Shattuck's comment contained in the appendix to his History of Concord, 
published in 1835, is as follows: " A new lithographic edition of Doolittle's Histori- 
cal Engraving, first published in 1775, also appeared. In the original no one is 
represented as firing at the British soldiers at Lexington, but several as dispersing 
and some as slain. As this would be rather an awkward presentation of a battle, 
the editors, as is sometimes the practice of historians, thought fit to improve the 
original to suit their views of what the engagement should have been. From 
this picture woodcuts have been prepared, which appear in some school books 
to perpetuate error." 


and to create a tale that does not impress one as founded upon 
human nature. It is natural and right that the names of colo- 
nists who espoused the popular cause should be cherished in 
American households, but it is a pity that after the lapse of 
nearly a century and a half other conscientious colonists of 
different ways of thinking should still be regarded as traitors 
and dishonest persons. The actors at Lexington and in the 
preceding events have become segregated into two groups — in 
the one the heroes, in the other the villains. It has been the 
tendency to portray our patriot ancestors as patient, long- 
suffering men of God who, free from the selfishness and greed 
of our erring species, adored liberty and justice and yearned 
to lay down their lives in their defence. This theory has been 
persisted in for several generations, although Washington in 
his correspondence has furnished us with some very substantial 
evidence to the contrary. I am not sure that it is a kind thing 
to cast ancestors in such parts. They do not suggest the flesh 
and blood of a few generations since, and as they pose pom- 
pously in statuesque attitudes and utter heroics of evident 
modern origin, they fail to convince, and one is conscious of 
the dawning in his mind of an historic doubt. And then the 
villains! They are the real villains of the golden age of melo- 
drama. There is Hutchinson, secretly forging the shackles of 
slavery for his honest neighbors, abetted by the malice of 
remorseless placemen; Ruggles, urging his wicked scheme to 
oppose by force "the peaceful picketing" of disinterested 
patriots; and then there are the villains in scarlet, drunken 
minions of a king thirsting for innocent blood. There is the 
hint of real flesh and blood here that we miss among the heroes 
and yet to some of us the question will arise, Were these men 
really all so bad? If some of the heroes had cursed, or if a 
villain or two could have uttered a repentant prayer, the whole 
pageant would have seemed more probable. As it is, we turn 
from the scene, carrying with us a sense of misgiving that is 
akin to doubt. 

Lest I be accused of exaggeration let me quote a characteristic 
passage from Hudson's History of Lexington, in which he apos- 
trophizes old Middlesex as the Monumental county: "The 
towering obelisk on Bunker Hill which looks down in an awful 
frown upon British vandalism, and in pious veneration upon 


American valor; the modest shaft at West Cambridge, which 
bespeaks alike the barbarity of the retreating foe and the 
heroic gathering of the friends of freedom, ready to do and 
suffer in her cause; the humble monument at Lexington pro- 
claiming the undaunted firmness of the minutemen and the 
cowardly spirit of the invaders of their rights," etc., etc. Mark 
how rigidly the line is drawn: on the one hand piety, valor, 
undaunted firmness, and the readiness to do and suffer; on 
the other vandalism, barbarity, and cowardice. Hudson wrote 
in 1868, and the sentiments he uttered have not become extinct. 
You will find them still, particularly in local histories and in 
books designed for youth. 

It has seemed to me that our revolutionary drama would be 
more fairly and clearly presented if we recognized that Massa- 
chusetts was divided against itself on the great issues of the 
day, and if the Loyalist element were given some speaking 
part upon the stage. While their cause and contentions have 
not been altogether ignored, they have been treated with scant 
courtesy, and their views and influence have never been prop- 
erly compounded with the general mass of historical matter 
upon which our revolutionary story is based. The Loyalists of 
Massachusetts had just as good New England blood in their 
veins as James Otis or Dr. Warren, and whoever reads the 
scholarly pages of Hutchinson's history can hardly fail to rec- 
ognize that the detested Governor was quite as much a lover 
of his native land as either John Hancock or Samuel Adams. 
The Loyalists were not all brave or unselfish men. Like their 
enemies they were compounded of good and evil, but they 
included in their numbers many of the most distinguished 
men in Massachusetts, who but for the evil days upon which 
they fell would have gone down in history as favorite sons. 
Some of them contributed incidents to our annals that 
might well have been recorded and remembered with pride. 
The story of Paul Revere as imagined by Mr. Longfellow stirs 
the most sluggish blood, and half the world knows it by heart. 
I can recall another episode that has to do with American grit 
and courage, but it concerns Colonel Saltonstall, of Haverhill, 
and has never been embalmed in verse. 1 

1 Brief mention of Colonel Richard Saltonstall's encounter with the mob in- 
1774 will be found in 2 Collections, iv. 164. 


Let me say at the outset that I am in possession of no evi- 
dence regarding my subject that has not been accessible to 
historians for years. It is not my purpose to laud villains or 
to depreciate heroes, but as all the actors who played their 
part at Lexington were Englishmen and professed loyalty to 
the British King, I shall discuss the episode as belonging as 
much to English as to American history. The Tory and the 
Redcoat will be given a fair hearing on the stand. The third 
volume of Hutchinson's History will be treated with as much 
respect as letters and speeches by any member of the Adams 
family. I shall assume that the Drapers published as honest 
a newspaper as Edes and Gill, that an. official report by Gage 
stands in the 'same category as a proclamation by the Pro- 
vincial Congress, and that a letter written by a British officer 
to relatives or friends at home is as reliable evidence as a pa- 
triot deposition that bears a score of signatures. With this 
declaration of my purpose let us review together some of the 
political transactions that occurred in Boston during the ten 
years that preceded 1775. I shall touch briefly upon those 
events with particular reference to their influence upon the 
temper and discipline of the King's troops, deeming them more 
or less essential to an understanding of the encounter that 
stained Lexington Common with blood nearly a century and a 
half ago. 

It was in 1765, as a result of the Stamp Tax agitation that 
Hutchinson's beautiful house in the North End was destroyed 
by an infuricated and drunken mob, and with it that noble 
library teeming with treasures of Massachusetts' historic past. 
A mass meeting at Fanueil Hall condemned the outrage, but 
when suspected offenders were lodged in jail they were promptly 
released by a more orderly but equally determined mob. When 
the Assembly convened it was clear that the members were 
swayed by other considerations than those of simple justice. 
The claims of Hutchinson and other sufferers for compensation 
for losses sustained in the riots were laid over for one session 
and then voted only upon consideration that free pardon and 
an immunity from prosecution should be extended to the ri- 
oters themselves. It was this attitude of the Assembly as 
representing the constituencies of the Province, together with 
renewed disturbances, that brought the 14th and 29th regi- 


ments to Boston in 1768. A fervid flood of oratory immediately 
proclaimed that their mission was to reduce to abject slavery 
the inhabitants of the good town of Boston. The harassed 
squad of Redcoats before the Custom House fired upon the 
mob in 1770 and deprived the town of some of its undesirable 
citizens. In the face of popular clamor the two regiments were 
withdrawn to the Castle. Captain Preston and the soldiers 
comprising the squad were turned over to the civil power and 
brought to trial in the fall. In the meantime, immediately on 
the perpetration of the so-called massacre, the town hastily 
collected depositions from sundry citizens to prove that the 
fire of the troops was unprovoked, embodied them in a printed 
pamphlet, copies of which were forwarded to England with a 
few of Paul Revere's prints in which Captain Preston was 
pictured in an unmistakably bellicose attitude. It is interest- 
ing to compare the depositions printed in the Short Narrative 
of the town with the evidence produced at the trial of the sol- 
diers. As you know, Captain Preston was acquitted and all of 
the soldiers save two, who were convicted of manslaughter. 
Much stress was laid in the Short Narrative upon evidence that 
shots were fired from the windows of the Custom House dur- 
ing the confusion in the street. We read in the trial of the 
soldiers, " published by permission of the Court," that the 
jury acquitted the accused persons " without going from their 
seats," while from Hutchinson we learn that the principal 
witness was held for perjury "and by his own confession he 
was convicted." * 

The removal of the troops to the Castle was a deep humilia- 
tion to the King's officers, for which the subsequent acquittal 
of Preston and the soldiers was only a tardy and insufficient 
reparation. The 14th and 29th were derided in Parliament as 
"the Sam Adams regiments," and it is reasonable to assume 
that Boston came to be regarded with loathing in every mess- 
room of the British army. Parliament held tenaciously to its 
stupid blundering course, Hutchinson strove vainly to find a 
way to satisfy the disaffected populace that was consistent with 
his duty to the King, the tax on tea stimulated the popular 
ferment, the Port Bill was passed, and in 1774 Hutchinson 
sailed for England, Gage coming in as military Governor with 
a half-dozen regiments at his back. 


Gage found a serious situation in the Province. Upon his 
prorogation of the Assembly it promptly resolved itself into a 
Provincial Congress, independent of his authority. Commit- 
tees of Safety and Committees of Correspondence existed in 
every community for the protection of American liberties, or, 
as Gage saw it, for opposing the lawful acts of Parliament. 
The energy and secrecy developed in these organizations seem 
to give the lie to the aphorism that efficiency and democracy 
have never been made acquainted. 

Upon one essential point we find Samuel Adams and Gen- 
eral Gage in agreement, that the good people of Massachusetts 
Bay were in danger of losing their liberties. We know well the 
contentions of Samuel Adams that those liberties were threatened 
by the high-handed methods of Parliament instigated by the 
corrupt and selfish clique that surrounded the King. The 
contributions to the newspapers of the day, the sermons that 
thundered from a hundred pulpits, the orations in the Old 
South Church, all proclaim the existence of a tyranny unworthy 
of the dark ages in its heartless duplicity and savage barbarity. 
And yet Gage and his officers looked abroad and beheld a 
land well endowed by nature and improved by the thrift and 
toil of a hardy and self-governing population at whose doors 
neither tyranny nor poverty had ever knocked. The Stamp 
Act and the tax on tea might or might not be wise, but the up- 
roar about slavery and oppression was to the soldier merely a 
blatant fraud. He resented the imputation that he came to 
Boston as the instrument of tyranny, and he knew that there 
were thousands in the town who welcomed his presence, even 
as an enforcer of the Port Bill and the Regulating Acts. Then 
from the country came scores of quiet folk whose fives had been 
made intolerable in the communities in which they lived. 
Their crime consisted in an open recognition of the authority 
of the King and Parliament. Around the candle-lit mahogany 
in many an old Boston mansion the officers of the army listened 
to tales of persecution, of threatenings, boycotts, and physical 
intimidation by mobs. Peace-loving folk of old American 
stock recited their woes as signers of the complimentary ad- 
dress to Governor Hutchinson, how they had been proscribed 
in the public press, how they had been ostracized and harried 
by strong armed neighbors, and how with visions of tar and 


feathers before their eyes they had recanted, apologized in the 
public print, that they and theirs might live in peace in the 
land of their nativity. There were moderate patriots in 
those days who deplored the outrages, and who dreaded that 
they would benefit the Tory cause by rendering a better cause 
unattractive. In the army, with its memories of 1770, the effect 
was to arouse a resentment that soon blossomed into contempt 
and hate. Earl Percy, whose principles were all of the Whig 
persuasion, had come over well affected toward the Province, 
but before he had been in Boston two months he was writing 
home: "the people here are a set of sly, artful, hypocritical 
rascalls, cruel and cowards. I must own I cannot but despise 
them compleately. ,, Captain Evelyn, a less conspicuous 
officer, writing to his reverend father in 1774, declares: "You 
who have seen mobs, generous ones compared to these, may 
have some idea of the wretched situation of those who were 
known or suspected to be friends to the King or government 
of Great Britain. Our arrival has in a great degree restored 
that liberty they have been so long deprived of, even liberty 
of speech and security to their persons and property, which has 
for years past been at the mercy of a most villainous mob." 
So you will see how natural it was that the army came into suf- 
ficient agreement with Mr. Samuel Adams to declare that 
dangers did threaten the Goddess of Liberty in the Province of 
Massachusetts Bay. Surely no milder military rule was ever 
maintained than that of General Gage. We have it on good 
Provincial authority that his attitude was distinctly concilia- 
tory, and his demeanor toward the civil officers in the town 
respectful even to the point of deference. The local press 
bristled with attacks upon the government he represented, and 
yet no move was made toward censorship or suppression. 
Well-known patriot agitators came and went, but their move- 
ments and speeches were both ignored. In the meantime on 
every village green the Provincial militia was drilling, and the 
towns under the direction of the Provincial Congress were 
busily engaged in collecting ammunition and supplies for war. 
Outside of Boston the courts were overawed. Judges and 
magistrates were waited upon by mobs and forced to resign 
their trusts, while soldiers in Boston were systematically se- 
duced to desert. The army became restless, and it was urged 


that the Governor's leniency was alienating thousands of loyal 
citizens who naturally looked to him for protection. But Gage 
persisted in his watchful waiting until it was whispered about 
in military circles that he was no better in his high office than 
"an old woman." 

During the period of military occupation preceding the mas- 
sacre there were frequent affrays between the soldiers and the 
townspeople, who, it seems clear, were for the most part the 
aggressors. Under Gage's administrations there were no popu- 
lar tumults comparable to those of earlier days because the 
military were in dominating force. On the other hand, be- 
cause of the discontent and the consequent deterioration of 
discipline in the army, the soldiers were guilty of occasional 
disorders, and certain young officers also became involved in 
affairs that disgraced their uniforms. The General had grave 
reason to deplore the potency of American liquor, a copper's 
worth of which was sufficient to convert a stolid grenadier into 
a raging animal defiant of the laws of God and man. Com- 
plaints from the selectmen or from aggrieved citizens were re- 
spectfully received at headquarters, and stern punishment was 
meted out to the offenders in the form of court martials and 
floggings on the Common. Wherefore the army grumbled that 
the only element exempt from punishment were the tar and 
feathering Liberty boys, while his Majesty's loyal subjects 
were left to be harried and hounded, and his Majesty's troops 
for trifling offences treated to floggings in the presence of 
their enemies. Human nature being what it is, we can easily 
comprehend the complaint of the army that between the se- 
dition of Samuel Adams and the weakness of Gage a soldier 
had but a pitiful standing in Boston. 

It is probable that the sentiment of the army was not al- 
together fair to Gage. The military problem was not as simple 
as it appeared to a young lieutenant smoking his pipe in a 
regimental messroom. The effort to impress the people that 
the army were their friends was perhaps worth the trying. 
There were few instances from the time of the destruction of 
Hutchinson's house in 1765 to the coming of the troops in 1774 
where political offenders against the public peace were brought 
to justice by the civil authorities. Gage was aware of this, and in 
punishing his soldiers for misdemeanors he may have looked 


for some appreciation of a policy of even justice and fair play. 
Whether Lord Clive would have acted differently had he lived 
to command in Boston is an interesting matter for historical 
speculation; but the time came when under the stress of local 
circumstances, reinforced perhaps by instructions from London, 
Gage felt himself obliged to take some steps to assert the out- 
raged dignity of King and Parliament. So the expedition to 
Concord was decided upon and every precaution taken to en- 
sure secrecy. It was an arduous task, involving a practically 
continuous march of thirty-five miles under service conditions. 
The Grenadiers and Light Infantry received the necessary 
orders, Smith of the ioth was assigned to command, and Ber- 
nard of the 23rd ordered to the Grenadiers. There were more 
than a score of lieutenant colonels and majors of foot eligible 
for the Light Infantry, and when it was learned on the morning 
of the 19th of April that Pitcairn of the Marines had gone out 
as the General's choice, I fancy there was a stir in the Boston 
garrison. Why was Pitcairn thus honored? It is of course a 
mere matter of speculation, but as the fateful hour approached 
it is possible that the humane General became oppressed with 
a fear of possible bloodshed. The people were possessed with 
a dangerous fanatical enthusiasm, and he knew that even among 
his officers there was a sense of irritation, a keen desire to "have 
at the damned dogs." So while it was not customary for 
Light Infantry to look to the Marines for commanders in the 
field, Gage called for Pitcairn, an officer who not only was a 
rigid disciplinarian with a long and honorable record of service, 
but also a man whose humanity and tact had won him the love 
of his command and the respect of people of all shades of po- 
litical opinion in the town. Leslie, Nesbitt, Small, and Mitchel 
were all good men, but the official knock came at Pitcairn's 
door. Perhaps the Major laughed as he read his orders and 
thought how the infantry had been slighted; perhaps his broad 
shoulders squared a bit as he thought how the marines had been 
honored. I fancy (despite our local tradition) that he had a 
devout Scotch nature, and as he buckled on his sword belt he 
may have breathed a simple prayer to be sustained in the work 
of the coming day — that it might not come to the shedding 
of English blood. 

And now, as we shift the scene to Lexington, let me ask if it 


has ever occurred to you to question the wisdom of sixty or 
seventy men going out and forming on the level ground of the 
Common, in plain sight of an advancing force of eight hundred 
of their enemies? There was reason for posting guards at the 
house of Jonas Clark a few hours before, but when Smith's 
column entered Lexington, John Hancock and Samuel Adams 
had withdrawn to safer quarters and no one else stood in 
danger. Captain Parker stated in his deposition in 1775 that 
he ordered the militia "to meet upon the Common to consult 
what to do, and concluded not to be discovered nor meddle or 
make with said regular troops unless they should insult or 
molest us." How could he expect that sixty or seventy armed 
men, grouped between the meeting house and the Buckman 
Tavern, should fail of discovery by troops passing along the 
road but a few steps away, and how could he imagine that these 
troops would ignore them, standing as they did with shotted 
arms and in a posture of war? 1 The action of the Concord 
companies later in the day throws Parker's tactics into stronger 
relief. Concord had more than twice as many men under arms 
as Lexington, but on the appearance of the British they aban- 
doned the town and retired to the high land above the North 
Bridge. That move is easily comprehensible and was based 
upon sound judgment. Yet Captain Parker was a soldier of 
experience, and he chose a post for observation and consulta- 
tion where his men would be almost brushed by the scarlet 
trappings of the passing enemy. Had the village been fired, 
had women and children stood in danger of outrage and death 
at the hands of a brutal soldiery, I imagine that every Lexing 
ton man would have died in defence of his home and fireside; 
but no outrage or insult had been reported as attending the 
British march; high land and thick woods, admirable spots for 
observation and consultation were close at hand, and yet Parker 
and his men stood quietly by the wayside inviting insult or 

1 General Heath commented on this fact as follows in his Memoirs, published 
in 1798: "This company continuing to stand so near the road, after they had cer- 
tain notice of the advancing of the British in force, was but a too much braving 
of danger; for they were sure to meet with insult or injury, which they could not 
repel. Bravery when called to action should always take the strong ground on 
the basis of reason." Mr. Hudson in the first edition of his History of Lexington, 
published in 1868, sought to justify the action of the Lexington company, but his 
arguments were quite inadequate and are apparently omitted from the new 
edition issued by the Lexington Historical Society. 


molestation. Has it ever occurred to you that Parker acted 
under orders, that the post he took was not of his choosing? 
Samuel Adams, the great agitator, had been a guest at Parson 
Clark's for days, and he was the dynamo that kept the revo- 
lutionary machinery in motion. The blood shed by Preston's 
men in King Street had been ably used by Adams to solidify 
the popular cause, and now did he feel that the time had come 
to draw once more the British fire? It is perhaps a foolish 
query, but it is engendered by an historic doubt. I cannot 
satisfy my mind that Parker was the responsible agent in the 
affair. At all events it was a group of brave men that gathered 
with the Lexington captain on the green that morning, the 
first flush of dawn lighting their bronzed faces as they stood 
looking squarely into the face of death. 

Since both parties stoutly maintained their innocence it is 
a difficult matter to decide who fired the first shot on the 19th 
of April. It was a question of serious political importance in 
1775, but today it is merely a matter for interesting historical 
speculation. The Provincial Congress followed the example 
of the town of Boston in 1770, hastily collected depositions 
from all the Provincial actors and spectators, published them 
in the press, and hurried the information off to England in 
Captain Derby's packet. The depositions were taken for 
one express purpose, to show that the British committed a 
bloody and unprovoked assault upon innocent and unoffending 
men. The unanimity upon the vital point was as impressive 
as in the massacre evidence of 1770, and it is only an occasional 
witness who strays far enough away from the main issue to throw 
any light upon the details of the transaction. Let us recall 
the witnesses for a hasty examination. Nearly fifty men of 
Parker's company subscribed to two blanket depositions. They 
declared in effect that the company which was gathering 
dispersed on the approach of the troops. " Whilst our backs 
were turned on the troops, we were fired on by them, . . . not 
a gun was fired by any person in our company on the regulars 
to our knowledge, before they fired on us." 1 This final clause 
intimating that at some stage of the affair Lexington men did 
fire, should be especially noted, as the same hint is contained in 
nearly all the depositions. Captain Parker testified that upon 
1 Deposition of Nathaniel Mulliken and thirty-three others. 


the sudden approach of the troops he ordered his men "to dis- 
perse and not to fire. Immediately said troops made their 
appearance and rushing furiously, fired upon and killed eight 
of our party without receiving any provocation therefor from 
us." Smith, a spectator, "saw the regular troops fire on the 
Lexington company," which was "then dispersing." There 
is no hint from the foregoing group of witnesses of any verbal 
preliminaries to the firing of the troops or any suggestion as 
to whether the firing was spontaneous or the result of orders. 
Tidd and Abbot were spectators. They saw the body of troops 
"marching up to the Lexington company which *was then dis- 
persing; soon after, the regulars fired first a few guns, which 
we took to be pistols from some of the regulars who were 
mounted on horses, and then the said regulars fired a volley or 
two." Mead and Harrington also state that pistol shots from 
the officers prefaced the British volleys. Robins says nothing 
of pistol shots, but has a good ear for speech. They came "on 
a quick pace towards us with three officers in their front on 
horseback, and on full gallop towards us, the foremost of 
which cried, ' Throw down your arms, ye villains, ye rebels,' upon 
which said company dispersing, the foremost of the three 
officers ordered their men saying, 'Fire, by God, fire,' at which 
moment we received a very heavy and close fire from them." 
Winship, who stood as a prisoner in the midst of the troops, 
observed an officer at the head of the troops "flourishing his 
sword and with a loud voice giving the word Fire!" He says 
nothing of the command to disperse. William Draper avers 
that Captain Parker's company were turned from the troops 
making their escape by dispersing, when the regular troops 
made an huzza and rushed on. "After the huzza was made 
the commanding officer of said troops . . . gave the command 
to the troops, 'Fire, fire, damn you, fire.'" Fessenden testified 
that being in a pasture near by he viewed the whole proceed- 
ing from a distance of eighteen or twenty rods. He saw the 
three officers on horseback and heard one of them cry out, 
"Disperse, you rebels, immediately," at the same time bran- 
dishing his sword three times over his head. The company 
immediately dispersed, while a second officer more to the rear 
fired a pistol. The regulars kept huzzaing till the leading officer 
finished brandishing his sword. He then pointed his sword 


toward the militia and immediately the troops fired. Elijah 
Sanderson heard an officer say, "'Damn them we will have 
them/ and immediately the regulars shouted aloud, ran and 
fired upon the Lexington company." Finally, I quote Willard, 
who viewed the event from a point near the Harrington house, 
and who in some respects is the most satisfactory witness of 
the day: "The commanding officer said something, what I know 
not, but upon that the regulars ran till they came within about 
eight or nine rods, ... at which time the militia of Lexing- 
ton dispersed; then the officers made an huzza, and the pri- 
vate soldiers succeeded them: directly after this, an officer rode 
before the regulars to the other side of the body, and hallooed 
after the Militia, and said 'Lay down your arms, damn you, 
why don't you lay down your arms,' and that there was not a 
gun fired till the militia were dispersed." This in effect is the 
Lexington case so far as the evidence of participants and eye- 
witnesses is concerned. Upon it was based the report of the 
Provincial Congress. The Province also secured depositions 
from Lieutenant Edward T. Gould, of the King's Own Regiment, 
and John Bateman, a private in the Fifty-second Regiment 
of Foot. Gould was wounded at Concord, captured near Men- 
otomy as he was returning to Boston in a chaise, and he gave 
his testimony as a prisoner at Medford. 1 Bateman was also 
a prisoner, evidently of the willing sort, being taken at Lex- 
ington in, the morning shortly after the departure of the troops 
for Concord. He declared that he "heard the word of com- 
mand given to the troops to fire and some of said troops did 
fire"; also that he "never heard any of the inhabitants so 
much as fire one gun on said troops." This final clause 
was duly noted by Ripley et al. in urging their case against 

The evidence for the soldiers is of a different character and 
far less voluminous than that offered for the Province. None 
of it is given under oath, but it all tends to contradict the 
Provincial charge that the troops were the aggressors at 
Lexington, averring that the British fire was given in return for 
shots that inflicted wounds upon British soldiers. We have in 
the first place the reports of Gage and Smith, but these may be 
lightly dismissed as official documents penned under trying 
1 This testimony is referred to in a subsequent note, p. 378, infra. 


circumstances. Then we have interesting testimony of an un- 
official character in the form of letters or private memoranda 
by officers who were not eyewitnesses of the events they de- 
scribe, but who portray the views and thought of British mess- 
rooms upon the subject. Upon these communications we may 
very reasonably build the theory that the British headquarters 
honestly believed in their contention that the Provincials fired 
the first shot at Lexington. 1 

We then come to the testimony of eyewitnesses, officers of 
the Light Infantry, who record their views in the same personal, 
offhand way. The most important witness in this group is 
Major Pitcairn. Now what did Pitcairn say? We are fortu- 
nate in having his statement through President Stiles of Yale, 
as stanch a patriot as one could wish, with no disposition to 
whitewash the British case. "Major Pitcairn," says Stiles, 
"who was a good Man in a bad Cause, insisted upon it to the 
day of his Death, that the Colonists fired first; and that he 
commanded not to fire and endeavored to stay and stop the 
firing after it began: But then he told this with such Circum- 
stances as convince me that he was deceived tho' on the spot. 
He does not say that he saw the Colonists fire first. Had he said 
it, I would have believed him, being a man of Integrity and 
Honor. He expressly says he did not see who fired first; and yet 
believed the Peasants began. His account is this — that rid- 
ing up to them he ordered them to disperse; which they not 
doing instantly, he turned about to order his Troops so to 
draw out as to surround and disarm them. As he turned he 
saw a gun in a Peasant's hand from behind a Wall, flash in the 
pan without going of: and instantly or very soon two or three 
guns went off by which he found his Horse wounded and also a 
man near him wounded. These guns he did not see, but believing 

1 Prominent in this class of testimony may be mentioned Earl Percy's letter 
to his father the day after the battle, and Lieutenant Colonel Abercrombie's letter 
to Lieutenant Governor Colden, of New York, dated May 2, 1775. "There can 
now surely be no doubt of their being in open Rebellion," says Percy, "for they 
fired first upon the King's Troops as they were marching quietly along." Aber- 
crombie writes: " I have made the strictest enquiry among'st the Officers and can 
assure you upon honor, that not One Shott was fired by any of the troops, till their 
men at Lexington fired on Our Men, a Serg't, a Soldier and Major Pitcairn's 
Horse were wounded by those three Shotts." This testimony of Abercrombie 
carries the more weight because it is coupled with some very frank criticism of the 
behavior of the troops in the afternoon. 


they could not come from his own people, doubted not and so 
asserted that they came from our people; and that thus they 
began the Attack. The Impetuosity of the King's Troops were 
such that a promiscuous, uncommanded but general Fire took 
place, which Pitcairn could not prevent; tho' he struck his 
staff or Sword downwards with all Earnestness as a signal to 
forbear or cease firing." 1 

Now this testimony of Pitcairn's troubled Stiles, who de- 
clared that it was a very great justification of Gage's claims, 
but I agree with him that it has an honest ring and meets the 
probabilities of the case. What would any conscientious of- 
ficer have done on finding the Lexington company drawn up 
under arms by the roadside, at an hour when most good sub- 
jects of the King were supposed to be in bed? In the first 
place he might have ripped out an oath and we have evidence 
to the effect that this was what Pitcairn did. Here was a pretty 
kettle of fish for an officer bound upon a secret mission and who 
was due in Concord within the next two hours. That group of 

1 Diary of Ezra Stiles, I. 604. Pitcairn's statement is confirmed in its important 
details by the officers of the Light Infantry who were engaged in the tragedy at 
Lexington. Lieutenant Gould of the King's Own Regiment gave his testimony as 
a wounded prisoner at Medford in the form of a sworn deposition which was 
incorporated in the general body of Provincial evidence: "We saw a body of Pro- 
vincial troops, armed, to the number of 60 or 70 men. On our approach they dis- 
persed and soon after firing began; but which party fired first, I cannot exactly 
say, as our troops rushed on shouting and huzzaing previous to the firing, which 
was continued by our troops as long as any of the Provincials were to be seen." 
This testimony given under such peculiar circumstances should be read in connec- 
tion with a private memorandum included among Earl Percy's papers at Alnwick 
in which he speaks of meeting Gould near Menotomy on the afternoon of the 19th 
of April. "Met with Lt. Gould of the Kings Own Regiment, who was wounded, 
and who informed me that the Grens and L. I. had been attacked by the rebels about 
daybreak and were retiring." 

Ensign D'Berniere of the 10th Regiment left a private memorandum book in 
Boston at the time of the evacuation which was published in that town in 1779, 
"for the information and amusement of the curious." His minute is as follows: 
"Major Pitcairn came up immediately and cried out to the rebels to throw down 
their arms and disperse, which they did not do; he called out a second time, but 
to no purpose; upon which he ordered our light-infantry to advance and disarm 
them, which they were doing, when one of the rebels fired a shot, our soldiers 
returned the fire and killed about fourteen of them." 

Another lieutenant of the King's Own (see Atlantic Monthly, April, 1877) 
leaves this entry in his private diary: "On our coming near them they fired one 
or two shots, upon which our Men without any orders, rushed in upon them, fired 
and put em to flight. . . . We then formed on the Common but with some diffi- 
culty, the Men were so wild they could hear no orders." 


armed men created a situation that called for treatment. 
Bloodshed was not to be thought of, prisoners could not be han- 
dled on a rapid march, and I imagine that the Major was not 
long in deciding that these foolhardy fellows must be surrounded, 
disarmed, and then sent about their proper business. They had 
been ordered to disperse with appropriate epithets, and accord- 
ing to Captain Parker they were dispersing when the command 
was given. You remember that Willard testified that "the 
commanding officer said something what I know not, but 
upon that the regulars ran till they came within 8 or 9 rods of 
the militia." I fancy that the " something" which Willard 
did not hear was Pitcairn's order to surround and disarm the 
company. Then followed a second order, but from another 
officer as Willard heard it — "Lay down your arms, damn you, 
why don't you lay down your arms" That was the crux of the 
whole situation. Sixty desperate men were getting away 
with their arms and the regulars were behind in the race. 
This may have been when Sanderson heard an officer say 
"damn them we will have them, "referring of course to the arms. 
The situation here becomes hopelessly involved in the confusion 
of pistol shots and huzzas. Three Lexington men testify that 
they heard the command to fire. I wish that these witnesses 
might have been cross-examined by the eminent counsel who 
defended the soldiers in 1770, although it is possible that they 
heard aright. The Provincial with his hatred of the powers 
that would enslave him and the soldier burning with long- 
suppressed resentment were in close contact, and firing soon 
began. Perhaps a firelock in the hands of some stern fanatic 
first flashed in the pan, perhaps some hot-headed subaltern in 
scarlet did hiss out the words, "fire, by God, fire." At all events 
the volleys were British volleys, and Pitcairn came riding in, 
striking right and left among the levelled muskets and cursing 
the day that had brought the Light Infantry within the scope 
of his activities. 

Smith's report says nothing of any breach of discipline on 
the part of the troops and merely states that they returned the 
Provincial fire. This was the easy way out for Pitcairn, as he 
would have been well within his rights. But as a man of "in- 
tegrity and honor" he told the truth, and it is a notable fact 
that when Gage issued his Circumstantial Account, he based it 


upon what Pitcairn told him and not upon Smith's report. Had 
Pitcairn known that generations of unborn Americans were to 
condemn him as a bloody butcher, I do not think he could 
have been any more chagrined or miserable than he was that day. 
The disgrace of it all, his men out of hand and raging like a 
mob, the success of the march imperilled, perhaps war begun, 
this was a pretty situation for an honest Major of Marines. 

One of the last acts of Mr. Hudson, the historian of Lexing- 
ton, was to contribute a paper to this Society in generous de- 
fense of Pitcairn. 1 He asserted indeed that he gave the com- 
mand to fire at Lexington, and alleged, on what authority I 
do not know, that he had always admitted the fact. His find- 
ing was that despite, his profanity, the Major was a brave and 
humane man and a faithful servant to his King. Now Pit- 
cairn's reputation for profanity rests solely upon those expres- 
sions alleged to have been uttered by him before the firing at 
Lexington. The Concord episode of the whiskey glass is an 
outgrowth of the tradition and not an authority for it. 2 Wash- 
ington has not gone down in history as a profane man because 
he addressed Charles Lee at Monmouth in language that 
suited the occasion, and yet there is quite as good a case against 
Washington as against Pitcairn. Can anything be more ab- 
surd than that those resonant damns lavished by the Major 
upon the Lexington militia should have been allowed to cloud 
his character for so long in the writing of American history? 
And now, as I conclude what I have to say of Pitcairn, I wish 
that you might recall his features as they appear in that charm- 
ing miniature owned by the Lexington Society. He came of 
an ancient Fifeshire family. His father, the Rev. David Pit- 

1 1 Proceedings, xvn. 315. It is to be regretted that the Lexington Historical 
Society, in republishing Hudson's History, did not reprint this communication. 

2 This story may have originated from certain passages in Gordon's letter of 
May 17, 1775, which was first published in the Pennsylvania Gazette in June of that 
year. He quotes Jones, the innkeeper and jailor at Concord, as asserting that 
Pitcairn assailed him with profane and abusive language. These passages were 
expunged from Gordon's condensed account published in the North American 
Almanac for 1776, nor do they appear in his history. Hudson rejected the whiskey 
glass story, declaring that it rested upon "very slender evidence." The amount 
of cursing attributed to the British officers at Concord and Lexington in the Pro- 
vincial accounts fairly recalls Uncle Toby's assertion that "Our armies swore, 
terribly in Flanders — but nothing to this." The British achievement seems the 
more notable, as we have no record of any Provincial utterance that was cal- 
culated to bring a blush to the most modest cheek. 


cairn, was long minister at Dysart, where the Major was born 
in 1722. He married Elizabeth Dalrymple, of the Dalrymples 
of Arnsfield, Dumfriesshire, and Dreghorn Castle in Mid- 
Lothian. His wife predeceased him, and after his death his 
orphan children were adopted by his brother, Dr. William 
Pitcairn of London, who always acted toward them with the 
affection and solicitude of a parent. Dr. Pitcairn was a man of 
rare social charm, one of the most distinguished physicians of 
his time, and he was honored with the presidency of the Col- 
lege of Physicians in London. In the Major's son, David, Dr. 
Pitcairn found a worthy successor, as the young man became 
the leading practitioner in the British metropolis, the envy and 
pride of his profession. The remains of the Major lie interred 
under the Church of St. Bartholomew the Less in London, 
side by side with those of the good brother and the worthy 

Lieutenant Colonel Abercrombie and Majors Spendlove and 
Williams died with Pitcairn at Bunker Hill, and yet in all 
quarters it was Pitcairn's death that was regarded as the irrep- 
arable loss. "The principal killed on their side," writes Earl 
Percy to his father after Bunker Hill, "is Dr. Warren, Prest. of 
the Provincial Congress, and on ours poor Major Pitcairn who 
commanded the two battalions of Marines and about whom I 
wrote to my mother." One would like much to see that letter, 
with Percy's tribute to a brave friend. Burgoyne was touched 
and wrote to Lord Palmerston in these words: "Major Pit- 
cairn was a brave and good man. His son, an officer in the 
same corps, and near him when he fell, carried his expiring father 
upon his back to the boats, about a quarter of a mile, kissed 
him and instantly returned to duty. The circumstance in the 
hands of a good painter or historian, would equal most that 
can be found in antiquity." * There is another contemporane- 
ous version of the episode to which Burgoyne refers, incorrect in 
some details but suggestive in its spirit. It runs in this fashion: 
"Lieut. Pitcairn, son to the Major was standing by his father 
when that noble officer fell and expired without uttering a 
word. He looked wistfully at the Lieutenant who kneeled 
down and cried out, 'My father is killed, I have lost my father.' 
This slackened the firing of the regulars for some minutes, 

1 Proceedings, xlvit. 288. 


many of the men echoing the words, — 'We have all lost a 
father.' " 

The news of Pitcairn's death reached the King in July, and 
in August the following announcement appeared in the London 
papers: "Lieut. Pitcairn of the Marines (who brought his 
father Major Pitcairn when mortally wounded at Boston off 
the field of action) is appointed a captain-lieutenant of the said 
corps, though not in his turn, as acknowledgment of the services 
of his gallant father." It must have been a rare character that 
could arouse admiration in natures so diverse as those of 
General Burgoyne and the Rev. Ezra Stiles. Surely the time 
has come for our historians to abandon the old, baseless preju- 
dices respecting Pitcairn, and realize and admit that when 
on the battle night he drew his last painful breath in that 
unknown North End dwelling, it was the soul of a very true 
and gallant gentleman that took its flight to God. 

In this paper I have confessed to certain historic doubts and 
have commented upon some phases of the Lexington story, 
from its simple historic inception to the highly elaborated 
forms in which it is rehearsed today. We have noted the 
attitude and experiences of the Loyalists with a view to tracing 
their influence upon the King's officers convincing them that 
they were employed in a righteous cause. We have dicussed 
the long mooted question as to who gave the first fire at Lex- 
ington, and I have presented what I believe to be a reasonable 
version of the fateful tragedy and of the part which Major 
Pitcairn played therein. As Pitcairn has long been cast as the 
chief villain in the piece, I have been at some pains to indicate 
from contemporary evidence the sort of man he really was. I 
wish there were time to say something of Earl Percy's activities 
in command of the First Brigade and to comment on his con- 
duct of the march to Boston. I must in conclusion say another 
word as to the alleged resistance of the Lexington company, 
with particular reference to the historical accuracy of Sand- 
ham's painting of the Dawn of Liberty. 

Does it seem to you that the Lexington historians since 1825 
have been quite fair to their minutemen of 1775? They have 
not only contended that a handful of their townsmen stood in 
arms in mute defiance of British anthority, but that they en- 
gaged in battle with ten times their number of trained troops 


and exchanged shot for shot. Was it fair to insist that Parker's 
men should be regarded as something more than human, and 
that, modest and all unwilling, they should be forced to take a 
place among the Gods? I have alluded to the retreat of the 
Concord companies when they first descried the van of the 
British column on the road. They numbered 200 men, three 
times the size of Parker's force, and though they abandoned the 
village and took position on the high land near Major Buttrick's 
house, I have never heard that their tactics were called in 
question. Later in the day, when Buttrick marched down to 
the North Bridge in overwhelming force, what did the British 
do? Trained and seasoned veterans as they were, after one 
sharp exchange of shot, they beat a hasty retreat. No one has 
ever ventured to allege that this was not a proper and neces- 
sary military measure, and Captain Laurie, their commander, 
still remained in full possession of his reputation as a brave and 
skilful soldier. Why should Lexington have held its soldiers 
to standards that if spectacular were surely useless, rash, and 
unmilitary? Various declamatory speeches have been attrib- 
uted to Captain Parker, but were he an ancestor of mine I 
should cling to what he claims to have said himself, that he 
"ordered his men to disperse and not to fire." There spoke the 
strong and prudent soldier who regarded his duty to his com- 
mand and to the great cause he had espoused. 

That the Lexington company, as a company, did not fire 
upon the Light Infantry on the Common is, I believe, as clearly 
proved as any historical fact need be; that certain individuals 
belonging to the company or numbered among the spectators 
did before or after the British attack discharge their pieces, is 
also clear. The British were subject to the political temptation 
of magnifying their losses at this point, but all they claim is 
that a private soldier was wounded and that Major Pitcairn's 
horse was struck in two places. Now it is clear that this 
wounded soldier tramped on with his company to Concord, 
while Pitcairn's horse not only carried him through the morn- 
ing, but somewhere about one o'clock he was still so antic that 
he unseated his portly rider and ran snorting into the enemy's 
lines with that brace of pistols that are now among the most 
cherished possessions of the Lexington Historical Society. 
From these facts I conclude that the injuries sustained by the 


British on the Common were of the order known as flesh wounds, 
either glancing scratches or contusions inflicted by spent balls 
fired from distances almost out of range. No Lexington his- 
torian has ever contended that Parker's men were deficient in 
the knowledge and handling of firearms or that they were bad 
shots. Had they disobeyed the order to disperse, and conducted 
themselves as they are represented in Sandham's painting, I 
maintain that Pitcairn's advance companies would have been 
torn to shreds and the hands that signed the depositions of 
1775 would all have been clenched in death. 

It is probable that the present version of the Lexington story 
is with us for a protracted stay, and so it is a matter for some 
regret that Phinney in 1825 should have been induced to strive 
against such odds to prove that this man or that let fly "the 
guts of his gun," and that British blood shed by Parker's marks- 
men did in the early April dawn anoint the sacred soil of Lexing- 
ton. It is the more regrettable because unnecessary, the glory 
and fair fame of Lexington resting securely upon a sound and im- 
pressive basis of achievement. She might have cited the simple 
historic fact that while on the 19th of April she contributed 
hardly two per cent of the total strength that was mustered in 
eastern Massachusetts against the King's troops, her killed and 
wounded exceeded twenty per cent of the whole loss sustained. 
Why should a town that had done so much in the common 
cause have been tempted to contend for more trivial honors? 

It is a singular fact that the imagination of no great artist 
has been stirred to portray the glory of Lexington's great day 
in any fashion that does not involve that ten minutes of tragic 
confusion on the Common. Surely there are episodes enough 
to fire the genius of a dozen studios, yet our painters and en- 
gravers have gone on tamely reproducing the Doolittle theme 
with this or that amendment. We have noted the value of 
Doolittle's work as performed in 1775 and repeated by him in 
1832 as giving an accurate idea of the Provincial conception 
of the behavior of the minutemen. He was not as well cir- 
cumstanced to depict the actions of the King's troops, and we 
have reviewed evidence indicating that those smooth and even 
volleys that he depicts as rolling from the well-dressed British 
lines were never fired. Had those lines been portrayed as 
broken and bulging, with scattered outbursts of musketry here 


and there, with officers on foot and horseback rushing about 
in efforts to restore order, I think we should have something 
that, however discreditable to British military discipline, would 
be a closer approximation to the truth. There is little inspira- 
tion for the reader or the artist in such incidents as this. 

Why could not Sandham in choosing his subject have turned 
the hands of the clock back one short half hour? I can 
see a picture in the gray of the early morning, the first tinge 
of dawn flushing the cloudless east, the flicker of guttering 
tapers on the dull glow of the taproom fire shining dimly 
through windows in the Buckman Tavern. The thin line is 
forming, and dusky groups are moving across the green to take 
their accustomed places. All is silence. The rolling drum has 
ceased its warning, the last echo of the belfry's brazen voice has 
died away, and then through the stillness we seem to hear the 
rhythmic footfall of marching feet. The King's troops are at 
hand, and as we look into the depths of the gray picture and 
mark that devoted band standing steadfast by the church, we 
feel that here is a faithful portrayal of a strangely impressive 
historic fact. It is an honest picture before which Ananias 
would slink away abashed. 

May I suggest another subject that would lend itself to 
artistic treatment? I find my text in the simple fact, although 
our historians have made nothing of it, that when the British 
approached the Lexington line on their return from Concord 
it was the bullets of Parker's reassembled company that came 
pelting among them. I maintain that a body of citizen sol- 
diery that had lost nearly a quarter of their number a few hours 
before as the result of the close and shattering fire of the 
Light Infantry would have rested under no stigma had they 
appeared in arms no more that day. Discipline in the Pro- 
vincial militia was not strict, but it seems to me that courage 
was instinctive and the meaning of comradeship and duty well 
understood in Lexington. Here is the picture. Again the old 
historic scene with the church and belfry. The British have 
passed on to Concord, and while we are conscious of the horror 
and mourning that have come to the quiet village dwellings, 
the sun shines bright through budding boughs upon the trampled 
greensward of the Common. What an opportunity for an artist 
in depicting the faces of those rough determined men who re- 


gather about their captain, Jedidiah Munroe among the rest with 
his bandaged wound. They stand waiting for the command to 
march. In a moment they will hear the tap of Dimond's 
drum, they will shoulder their firelocks, and ah fearless and 
unconquered tramp sturdily up the Concord road to meet 
what it shall please God to send them. 

I admit the existence of poetical license in this conception, 
but I maintain that the license has not been abused, that it 
violates in no sense the essential fact. That fact to my mind 
was the most impressive, the most heroic episode of the 19th 
of April, 1775, and it was performed by Captain John Parker 
and the men of Lexington on that never to be forgotten day. 

i 9 i6.] JOHN CHIPMAN GRAY. 387 





In one of his official reports, General Sherman mentions the 
dispatch of a boat up the Savannah River on an errand of 
importance in charge of "a very intelligent officer whose name 
I cannot recall." The officer was Major John Chipman Gray. 
It was characteristic of him that he found this form of honor- 
able mention not displeasing. Throughout a long career in 
civil life, during which he attained greater distinction than he 
ever had the opportunity to achieve in military life, he re- 
mained singularly modest. While he appreciated the good 
opinion of those qualified to judge his work, he disliked all 

John Chipman Gray was born in Brighton, now a part of 
Boston, on July 14, 1839, the son of Horace Gray and Sarah 
Russell Gray, daughter of Samuel Pickering Gardner. He was 
a grandson of Lieutenant-Governor William Gray, a merchant 
of Salem and Boston, who was the greatest shipowner in the 
country at a time when we took a leading part in the com- 
merce of the world. From this grandfather came to him the 
house in Cambridge in which he lived a part of the year. 

William and Abraham Gray, the grandfather and father of 
William Gray, were pioneers in the shoe manufacturing business 
in Lynn. Two of Mr. Gray's uncles, Francis Calley Gray and 
John Chipman Gray, were men of prominence in Boston and 
benefactors of Harvard College. Both were members of the 
Massachusetts Historical Society. The name John Chipman 
was derived from the father and grandfather of Elizabeth Chip- 


man, wife of Lieutenant Governor Gray, the elder of whom was 
a well-known clergyman of Beverly. 

Horace Gray, Chief Justice of the Supreme Court of Massa- 
chusetts and Associate Justice of the Supreme Court of the 
United States, was an older half-brother. Their father, Horace 
Gray, the senior, was a merchant on a considerable scale, but 
met with business reverses before his sons had grown up, which 
forced them to depend as young men upon their own exertions. 
In after years Mr. Gray attributed whatever success Judge 
Gray and he achieved to this stimulus in their early lives. It 
seems probable that men of such active minds would have 
achieved distinction under any circumstances, but they might 
have done so in different fields from those in which their careers 
actually lay. In the case of John Chipman Gray his life might 
perhaps have been devoted more exclusively to scholarly 

Mr. Gray was educated at the Boston Latin School and at 
Harvard College, from which he graduated in 1859. There is 
little record left of his school and college days. In a letter to 
him many years later, one of his schoolmates tells an incident 
which shows that Mr. Gray possessed in his youth the strong 
sense of justice which later distinguished him, together with an 
independent spirit rare among boys. It casts light also on life 
in the school. 

In our Fourth Class year, Mr. Gardner arranged a match between 
our class and the class above us in Virgil. From 9 to 10, both classes 
were set to study a certain number of lines; and from 9 to 2, we 
were all examined together by John Noble. How vividly I recall the 
time of that fearful five hours examination. As our class had not 
yet studied Virgil at all, the First Class lent us their books. I re- 
member that you and I alone had so few as four mistakes only — 
one of which I was so lucky as to wipe out by two " corrections " of 
false quantities, thereby saving my " approbation card " at the week's 
end. Next day, Mr. Gardner came down with a copy of Virgil in his 
hand, saying that the First Class had complained of the way in 
which their books had been handled; and he asked which of us had 
used the copy he then held. It turned out that I had had it. Mr. 
Gardner then asked if that was the way I used borrowed books. I 
examined the book; there were no torn leaves, no dog's ears, no 
markings with pen or pencil, no blots or black spots at all — only a 
slight soiling which could not have been avoided from the perspira- 

I 9 i6.] JOHN CHIPMAN GRAY. 389 

tion of the hands (for I had held that book five hours open at the 
same place, in front of the furnace register). "Well?" roared Mr. 
Gardner. "I don't see — " I began, intending to say, "I don't see 
there is any injury I could have avoided under the circumstances." 
But Mr. Gardner burst in after the word "see." " Don't see!" he 
bellowed, "Pass the book down the division and let us know how 
many can't see!" So the book passed down, and, as there was the 
slight soiling I have mentioned, every boy confessed he did "see." 
Mr. Gardner burst out upon me with a — "Well, Sir, have you con- 
cluded that you can see?" "No, Sir," I replied, with the miserable 
sense of being denied all justice in the way of explanation of what I 
could not see. Mr. Gardner's eyes flashed fire. Striding up to me, 
he shook that mighty fist of his within an inch or two of my face, 
and roared out; "Speak another word, and I will thrash you!" 
Then, turning to the division, he cried; "How many boys in this 
room will ever believe this young man again on his word?" Out of 
the forty or fifty boys in the room, only two dared to hold up their 
hand. You, who sat next to me, instantly held up yours; and Ned 
Blagden, emboldened by your example, soon after timidly raised his. 
Mr. Gardner was thunderstruck at seeing you raise your hand; for 
he, no less than all the rest in that room, knew you to be the most 
conscientious and truthful boy in the class. 

Mr. Gray left the Latin School at the end of the third-class 
year, and thus gained a year in entering college. By his own 
account he did not study very hard in college at any subject 
except mathematics, in which he was always especially inter- 
ested. Nevertheless, he obtained the fifth place in the class. He 
was a member of the Phi Beta Kappa Society and of the Hasty 
Pudding and Porcellian clubs. 

The college course was followed by two years in the Harvard 
Law School, from which he graduated in 1861. He returned for 
a third year of study, but left the School in January, 1862, re- 
ceiving his Master's degree at commencement that year. The 
• law school was not then a place of strenuous work for teacher 
I and student, such as it later became under the sway of a new 
generation of professors of whom Mr. Gray was one. His mind, 
however, was actively employed not only in studying law but in 
reading on a great variety of other subjects. He passed there 
two of the happiest years of his life. 

On leaving the Law School, perhaps before doing so, he entered 
the office of Peleg W. Chandler, a prominent member of the 


Boston bar. There he immediately showed an aptitude for the 
legal profession. When Mr. Chandler subsequently recom- 
mended him for the position of Judge Advocate, he wrote: 
" John Gray was with me a year. He is the ablest man of his 
age as a lawyer that I know of." Mr. Gray was admitted to 
the bar September 18, 1862. 

While Mr. Gray was never an abolitionist, nor an indiscrim- 
inate admirer of the leaders of the Republican party, he was 
an uncompromising Union man and believed in prosecuting the 
war with vigor. His fair prospects in his profession, the neces- 
sity of standing on his own feet, and his natural inclination 
toward intellectual pursuits did not prevent him from volun- 
teering for service in the army. He intended to enter one of 
the regiments raised in Boston in the spring or summer of 1862, 
but failed to do so, for some reason not now discoverable. On 
October 7, however, he was enrolled as second lieutenant in 
the Forty-first Massachusetts Volunteers, to serve for three 

Lieutenant Gray was immediately detailed for duty on the 
staff of Brigadier- General Gordon, then at Harper's Ferry. For 
nearly a year thereafter he remained on duty with General 
Gordon, moving about from one point to another in Maryland 
and Virginia, now with the Army of the Potomac and now with 
the Army of the Peninsula. Although frequently in the neigh- 
borhood of fighting, he seems never to have been under fire in 
these campaigns. He remained always detached from his 
regiment, which was consolidated in July, 1863, with un- 
attached companies of cavalry and made into the Third 
Massachusetts Cavalry. 

On August n, 1863, General Gordon, with his division, 
embarked to join the troops on the islands near Charleston Har- 
bor under General Quincy A. Gillmore, engaged in attacking 
forts Sumter and Wagner. The division was stationed on Folly 
Island, an uncultivated sand heap with only one house and 
inhabited by millions of crabs. Here Lieutenant Gray remained 
for several months as Assistant Adjutant General, acting as 
secretary to General Gordon and Assistant Judge Advocate. 
His diary, and the letters which he wrote to his family and 
friends, particularly to the late John C. Ropes, show that he 
took a lively interest, though only as a spectator, in the attack 

1916.] JOHN CHIP MAN GRAY. 39 1 

upon the forts. Some passages in his account of this attack 
show what was then thought remarkable in the way of artillery 

Our first parallel is 1100 yards from Fort Wagner, our second, 
behind which are the main batteries, 600 yards from Fort Wagner, 
and the third, which has only one gun in it, is 350 yards; our pickets 
are within a stone's throw of them. We have one 300-pounder Par- 
rott gun not yet in position, two Whitworth guns, seven 200-pounder 
Parrotts, five 100-pounder Parrotts, besides small guns. At Fort 
Pulaski General Gillmore did not have any gun as heavy as a 100- 
pounder. Our casualties are few. The 300-pounder gun has given a 
great deal of trouble; it weighs 27,000 pounds and keeps breaking 
the slings which are carrying it. . . . Our land batteries devote 
themselves almost exclusively to Fort Sumter from which they are 
distant, I believe, about a mile and three quarters. What would the 
old masters of the engineering art say to such a distance, what would 
have been thought of it ten years ago? Why it used to be a disputed 
question whether 600 yards was not too great a distance for the 
batteries to destroy the defences of a place, and the breaching bat- 
teries used to be erected at the crest of the glacis. 

An interesting incident in his correspondence with Mr. Ropes, 
in view of the latter 's subsequent work, is the suggestion, then 
discussed between them, that Ropes should write a history of 
the war. 

In March, 1864, General Gordon and his staff moved to the 
more southerly island of Hilton Head, the headquarters of the 
Department of the South, a spot to which Lieutenant, or, as he 
was soon to become, Major Gray was often to return. An ex- 
ample, he calls the place, of what a military headquarters should 
not be, in the way of wastefulness and idleness. During the next 
six months, however, he was not doomed to be confined there. 
In company with General Gordon he was constantly moving 
from one place to another in the Gulf states, and up and down 
the river in Louisiana and Arkansas. In August he was at 
Mobile during the bombardment and capture of Fort Morgan. 
Though he had received in July an appointment as Judge Advo- 
cate, with the rank of Major, for the Department of the South, 
then commanded by General Foster, he continued to serve as 
aide to General Gordon until September, when the latter left the 
Department of the South and Lieutenant Gray was mustered 


out of the Massachusetts Volunteers and became a Major on the 
United States Volunteer General Staff. 

When General Sherman was approaching Savannah, at the 
end of November, an expedition was sent from Hilton Head to 
capture points on the railroad between Savannah and Charles- 
ton. Two engagements, with considerable loss of life, took 
place, on November 30, near Graham ville, and on Decem- 
ber 6 on ground between the Coosawhatchie and Tullifinny 
creeks. Major Gray took part in both these skirmishes, 
and the latter was the first and apparently the only occasion 
during the war in which he was actually under fire, though he 
shortly afterwards performed service that was perhaps more 
dangerous. A week later he met Sherman, who had just reached 
the sea. His first impressions are thus described in a letter to 
Mr. Ropes: 

Str. Nemaha, Dec. 14, 1864. 

I have just passed a whole morning in the company of the great- 
est military genius of the country in the height of his success. If I 
were to write a dozen pages I could not tell you a tenth part of what 
he said, for he talked incessantly and more rapidly than any man I 
ever saw. A despatch boat goes North immediately on our arrival 
at Hilton Head with the glorious news of Sherman's success, but I 
will try to scribble a word or two as we go along in this shaky boat. 

A line first about preliminary movements; about the 25th of 
November General Foster received orders to make demonstrations 
against the Charleston and Savannah Road and cut it, if possible, 
with the view of helping General Sherman, and on the 27th I started 
with General Foster on board the steamer Nemaha, together with 
5000 troops, who after they were landed were to be under the com- 
mand of General Hatch. General Foster's wound makes him unable 
either to walk or ride, so that he remained on the steamer, and 
directed operations therefrom ; we first attempted to reach the rail- 
road near Graham ville, but met a battery which barred our prog- 
ress and we retired after considerable loss; other demonstrations 
were made in different directions, and finally a force was landed at 
Tullifinny Creek and pushing forward after a sharp skirmish gained 
a position about % of a mile from the R. R. which we still occupy, 
and from which with our artillery we can prevent the passage of 
trains at least in the day time. When this force landed I accom- 
panied General Potter who was in command, and the fight which 
ensued was the first time I was ever under musketry fire or indeed 
any fire of consequence. It is singular that I should have been two 

1916.] JOHN CHIPMAN GRAY. 393 

years an aide-de-camp on the staff of a fighting brigadier without 
hearing a bullet whistle, and within two months after becoming the 
legal adviser of a supposed sleeping department, I should be in the 
midst of a hot fire, for it was brisk work and looked badly for a few 
minutes. I suppose you may by this time have seen Colonel Hart- 
well who was slightly wounded in the fight at Grahamville while 
leading his regiment in a most gallant manner. All this, which I 
would like to dwell on, must give place to the great news. I had a 
long talk with General Foster about Fort Sumter, but this also I 
must reserve for a future time. On the morning of the nth news 
came that a scout of General Howard's had come through and re- 
ported all well and last night after General Foster had once attempted 
in vain to open communication with General Sherman, he again 
started on the Nemaha for Ossabaw Sound, and throwing all business 
aside, I was bound to go with him. We started about 7-^ p - m., and 
reached Ossabaw Sound at 2 a. m., where we were boarded by a signal 
officer who informed us that Fort McAllister had been captured by 
General Hazen's division in an assault at 5 o'clock the night before, 
and that he (the signal officer) had seen General Sherman; we 
steamed up the Ogeechee as near to Fort McAllister as the obstruc- 
tions and supposed torpedoes would allow us, and sending a boat on 
shore, General Sherman with a captain of his staff came out, ar- 
riving about 7-J^ o'clock and remaining till half past one. 

First about Fort McAllister, the "all important capture" of 
which, as General S. terms it, secures an excellent base for such sup- 
plies as may be needed. The fort is very strong, mounting 21 guns, 
some of which are field pieces, and many months ago beat off three 
heavy ironclads, inflicting considerable damage; the assault was 
made by three columns, each of three regiments, and twenty-five 
minutes by the watch, as General Sherman says, after the first order 
was given the fort was in our possession; the garrison fought des- 
perately, and several refusing to surrender were killed inside of the 
fort, our loss was about 80, of whom half were killed and wounded 
by the explosion of torpedoes buried in the ground which were ex- 
ploded by our men walking over the works after they were captured. 
General Sherman set the prisoners to work digging them up and in- 
formed the commander of the fort that he had it in consideration to 
shut him up with a number of his men equal to the number of 
our men who were killed by torpedoes and blow them up by gun- 

General Sherman is the most American looking man I ever saw, 
tall and lank, not very erect, with hair like a thatch, which he rubs 
up with his hands, a rusty beard trimmed close, a wrinkled face, 
sharp, prominent red nose, small, bright eyes, coarse red hands; 


black felt hat slouched over the eyes (he says when he wears any- 
thing else the soldiers cry out, as he rides along, "Hallo, the old man 
has got a new hat "), dirty dickey with the points wilted down, black, 
old-fashioned stock, brown field officer's coat with high collar and 
no shoulder-straps, muddy trowsers and one spur. He carries his 
hands in his pockets, is very awkward in his gait and motion, talks 
continually and with immense rapidity, and might sit to Punch for 
the portrait of an ideal Yankee. He was of course in the highest 
spirits and talked with an openness which was too natural not to be 
something more than apparent. In striving to recall his talk, I find 
it impossible to recall his language or indeed what he talked about, 
indeed it would be easier to say what he did not talk about than 
what he did. I never passed a more amusing or instructive day, but 
at his departure I felt it a relief and experienced almost an exhaus- 
tion after the excitement of his vigorous presence. 

He has Savannah securely invested, his left rests securely on the 
Savannah River, his right at Fort McAllister, his line is within the 
3 mile post from the city; he intends to throw a division across the 
Savannah to prevent the escape of Hardie from the city, and says 
he shall take his own time about reducing the city, unless he is hur- 
ried by despatches from General Grant; he has 60,000 men with him 
and only wishes there were more men in Savannah; he says the city 
is his sure game and stretches out his arm and claws his bony fingers 
in the air to illustrate how he has his grip on it. There is a "whip 
the creation" and an almost boastful confidence in himself which in 
an untried man would be very disgusting, but in him is intensely 
comic. I wish you could see him, he is a man after your own heart, 
like Grant he smokes constantly, and producing 6 cigars from his 
pocket said they were his daily allowance, but judging at the rate he 
travelled through them while he was on our boat, he must often ex- 
ceed it. He scouted the idea of his going on ships and said he would 
rather march to Richmond than go there by water; he said he ex- 
pected to turn North toward the latter end of December, at the 
same time the sun did, and that if he went through South Carolina, 
as he in all probability should, that his march through that state 
would be one of the most horrible things in the history of the world, 
that the devil himself could not restrain his men in that state; and 
I do not think that he (that is Sherman, not the devil) would try to 
restrain them much. He evidently purposes to make the South feel 
the horrors of war as much as he legitimately can, and if the men 
trespass beyond the strict limits of his orders he does not inquire into 
their cases too curiously. He told with evident delight how on his 
march he could look 40 miles in each direction and see the smoke 
rolling up as from one great bonfire. 

ipi6.] JOHN CHIPMAN GRAY. 395 

His army has been and is in perfect health and spirits, with every- 
thing they want, in much better condition than if they had remained 
at Atlanta, they are all ready to march anywhere with the " old man " 
in five minutes. The army has not been on diminished rations a day 
since they left Chattanooga, and since they started on this last march 
General S. says that they have had turkeys every morning for break- 
fast, and won't condescend to eat hogs. His better disciplined regi- 
ments have now in their knapsacks 7 or 8 days bread with which 
they started and the army brought in great droves of cattle, mules and 
negroes, the latter of whom he wants to turn over to General Sexton, 
and evidently does not believe in the African as a soldier; he says 
he has destroyed $50,000,000.00 worth of property and saved the 
Government $3,000,000.00 for the expenses of his army. 

The steamer is going and I have to close without beginning to say 
what I wish; General Sherman says the opposition to him was puerile 
and his infantry was never attacked. 

On February i, 1865, he was sent by General Foster to carry 
a despatch to General Sherman, who had left Savannah on his 
way to Columbia. He started in the evening to go up Pocataligo 
Creek by boat; but he found that impossible, and the next day 
took to the land. A letter to Mr. Ropes recounts his experiences, 
the most interesting in his military career, and gives a glimpse 
of Sherman's army on the march. 

After landing on the bank I walked a mile and a half to Pocataligo 
Station where I found General Hatch and learned that General 
Sherman had cut loose entirely, his last troops having left on the 
morning of the day before. General Hatch said it was impossible 
for me to go alone, and all his cavalry had gone off to Robertsville; 
he offered me an infantry escort, but I rather demurred to the slow- 
ness of that, and finally he gave me a sergeant and twelve men from 
a light battery mounted on team horses and armed with pistols, 
besides this there were four cavalry men going back to Sherman; 
I started off about half past ten, and I confess thought there was 
about one chance in ten of my getting back safely, and a very dis- 
agreeable prospect of being hung if I was captured by any of the 
guerillas exasperated by the havoc made by Sherman's army. 

Off I went at a trot, and found great difficulty in keeping the men 
up with me even at a slow gait; my pistol with its holster broke 
from my belt without my knowing it, and so I was left entirely with- 
out arms. Fortunately, however, I saw no one except a few negroes 
till I reached Hickory Hill, 18 miles out, where I found the rear guard 
of Sherman's army just leaving; here I left my escort and rode on 


13-J^ further to Duck Bridge over the Coosawhatchie, where Gen- 
eral Sherman had encamped for the night with the 15th Corps which, 
with its wagons, about 500 in number, lined the whole length of the 
road. The road was bad, in many places going through great pools 
nearly up to the horses' bellies, and two or three hundred yards across, 
but everything kept well up, the teams were excellent and no wagons 
were stalled. There was absolutely no straggling. ... I delivered 
my despatches to General Sherman, took dinner or supper as you 
may choose to call it with him, and after being there two hours 
started back with a letter and verbal instructions from him to Pocata- 
ligo. I tried to trot and succeeded for a mile or two, but my horse 
was too fagged to make it safe to keep up the gait and so with the 
exception of about a mile I walked my horse the 31-J^ miles back to 
Pocataligo, picking up my escort as I went back. The road was so 
bad and the night so dark that I could hardly have gone any faster 
had my horse been fresh, and as it was, I had to beat and spur my 
poor brute to prevent his stopping altogether; it took me ten hours 
to get back to Pocataligo, making 63 miles in 20 hours with only 2 
hours out of the saddle, soon after midnight too it began to rain and 
before daylight was pouring hard. Next morning I understand 
Wheeler's cavalry made their appearance in front of Pocataligo, so 
that I was fortunate in returning by night and not waiting with 
Sherman for day. As I have not been on a horse more than twice for 
the last nine months and then only for short rides, you may imagine 
I was pretty stiff and sore for a day or two. Still I would go through 
the fatigue and anxiety again for the pleasure of having seen one 
good day of the march of Sherman's army; it was a beautiful sight 
to see the long line of camp fires in the woods; with one or two ex- 
ceptions all the buildings and fences on the road were burned, and 
it was a curious sight to see how the fires gradually died out, from 
the bright red flames pouring forth from house and cotton gin in 
the immediate rear of his army to the utter blackness near Pocataligo 
where the army had passed two days before. 

General Foster now left for the north and Major Gray be- 
came Judge Advocate on the staff of General Gillmore, com- 
manding the department. 

On the first of May General Sherman, who had come south 
again by sea to Port Royal, ordered supplies and a detachment 
of troops to be sent immediately up the Savannah River to 
Augusta, to occupy the arsenal there and open up communica- 
tion with General Wilson at Macon. The first boat that started 
up was in charge of Major Gray; and it was with reference to 

igi6.] JOHN CHIPMAN GRAY. 397 

this expedition that General Sherman made the remark quoted 
at the beginning of this memoir. 

In a letter in April, 1865, after Lee's surrender, Major Gray 
wrote: "If on the reorganization of the army I could get a 
place on the staff with my present rank, it would be a strong 
temptation to me, though I doubt whether it would be a wise 
thing to take it and I see no chance of having the opportunity." 
In July, however, he went north on leave of absence and ob- 
tained his discharge without returning. 

Mr. Gray's life in the army was for the most part uneventful, 
and to many would have been tedious, but it was not so to him. 
Shortly before his resignation, he wrote: "During my army 
life I have not been lazy, for I can never be comfortable while 
idle, but my labor has been self-imposed." Always a great 
reader, during the war he read Latin, Greek, Italian, French, 
English literature, theology, history, the natural sciences, mili- 
tary science, and law; and he began the study of German and 
Spanish shortly after leaving the army. 

In later life he seemed little of a military or ex-military man. 
Although he took an interest in military history, European as 
well as American, he seldom spoke of his experiences in the 
army and did not care to be addressed by his military title. 
One of his colleagues in the Law School tells how some of them, 
after many years' association with him, first learned that Pro- 
fessor Gray was entitled to call himself Major, from a chance 
visitor addressing him by that title. This apparent lack of 
interest in his military career was probably due to an extreme 
modesty which disliked all titles of honor and preferred that 
the performance of a simple duty in an inconspicuous way 
should not be treated as a distinction. It was also character- 
istic of him not to indulge in reminiscences about the past. 
The Spanish War he always thought unjustifiable; in fact, he 
hated the mention of it, although he admitted that the mass of 
the people of the United States were actuated in it by generous 

One of the few occasions on which Mr. Gray seemed to re- 
member that he had been an officer was when he expressed his 
disgust with pension grabbers. He felt the exploits of the grab- 
bers, and the attitude of Congress in currying favor with them, 
as not only a disgrace to the country, but an insult to the army 


in which he had served. His admiration for Grover Cleveland, 
which came hard to one who had been a Republican all his life 
till the Blaine campaign, was enhanced by that president's 
courage in vetoing pension bills. 

On returning from the war Mr. Gray formed a partnership 
with Mr. Ropes, which lasted until the latter's death in 1899. 
In 1878 the firm was enlarged by the addition of Mr. William 
Caleb Loring, now a Justice of the Supreme Court of Massa- 
chusetts. Mr. Gray continued until his death in active practice 
as head of the firm, which included at that time eight of his 
former pupils at the Harvard Law School. In the autumn of 
1866 Mr. Ropes and he became editors of the American Law 
Review, then first established, and edited four volumes, from 
1866 to 1870. 

On December 4, 1869, he was appointed lecturer in the Har- 
vard Law School for the residue of the academic year; this ap- 
pointment was renewed for the three academic years 187 1- 
74, and on March 18, 1875, he became Story Professor of 
Law. In 1883 his title was changed to Royall Professor, and 
this position he occupied until February 1, 19 13, when his 
resignation was accepted and he was appointed Royall Pro- 
fessor Emeritus. 

During this period he was publishing his books — Restraints 
on Alienation in 1883, the Rule against Perpetuities in 1886. 
In 1909 Columbia University published a series of lectures on 
jurisprudence, delivered there by him, under the title The 
Nature and Sources of the Law. A second edition of Re- 
straints on Alienation was published in 1895, and a second 
and third editions of the Rule against Perpetuities in 1906 and 
191 5, all the new editions receiving substantial revision. 

On June 4, 1873, Mr. Gray married Anna Sophia Lyman 
Mason, daughter of the Reverend Charles Mason, Rector of 
Grace Church in Boston, and granddaughter of Jeremiah 
Mason, Senator from New Hampshire and rival of Daniel 
Webster for the leadership of the bar of the United States. He 
had two children, both of whom survive him, Roland and Elea- 
nor Lyman, now the wife of Henry D. Tudor; and he lived to 
see six grandchildren. 

Professor Gray received the degree of Doctor of Laws from 
Yale in 1894 and from Harvard in the following year. Among 

I 9 i6.] JOHN CHIPMAN GRAY. 399 

the honors conferred on him were the offices of president of 
the Harvard Alumni Association; president of the Harvard 
Chapter of the Phi Beta Kappa Society; vice-president of the 
Harvard Law School Alumni Association; member of the 
Council of Radcliffe College; president of the Boston Bar As- 
sociation; vice-president of the American Academy of Arts 
and Sciences; trustee of the Boston Museum of Fine Arts, 
the Boston Athenaeum, and the Social Law Library; he was a 
member of the Loyal Legion, the Massachusetts Historical 
Society, and the Massachusetts Military Historical Society. He 
never held any public office, although he was several times 
offered a seat on the bench of the Supreme Court of Massachu- 
setts, and once at least that of Chief Justice. 

It was in 1896 that Mr. Gray became a trustee of the 
Museum of Fine Arts, a position which he held through life. 
In the Annual Report of the Museum for 1915 is a memorial, 
stating his valuable services to the Museum, in which he is 
spoken of as having "that wisdom which is born of sympathy 
and justice." 

In these varied activities Mr. Gray continued engaged with 
little diminution of energy until after the age of seventy. Not 
before 191 2 did he begin to feel the strain seriously. In January, 

19 13, he resolved to cut down the amount of his work, and 
accordingly sent his resignation to Harvard College. This 
measure of relaxation, however, had been too long delayed. The 
same month, while engaged in the preparation of a case in court, 
he had a stroke of paralysis. He recovered from this rapidly 
and was back in his office, though physically feeble, during the 
spring; next autumn he was actively practising law. In April, 

1914, a few days subsequent to the argument of an important 
case, he had another stroke, after which he never returned 
to his office. He retained his intellectual faculties, however, 
until his death, which took place February 25, 191 5. Within 
a few weeks of the end he was not only enjoying conversation 
with his friends, but working at the revision of his books and 
expressing opinions on novel points of law. 

The most unusual feature of the career thus briefly sketched 
was the high degree of success achieved in three fields, all re- 
lated to the law, but requiring different qualities. Mr. Gray 
was eminent as a practising lawyer, a teacher, and a writer. 


He was the leading authority in New England, and probably 
in the United States, on the law of property. His opinions on 
questions in that branch of the law have had more weight with 
the bar in other states than those of any person except perhaps 
their local leaders, and by many lawyers, at least in states where 
the common law prevails, they have been regarded as of the 
highest authority without even such exception. His practice, 
however, was not confined to a single part of the law, but took 
a wide range. He had a plain common sense and a shrewdness 
in dealing with practical affairs such as are seldom found in 
combination with great technical learning. 

Mr. Gray avoided rather than sought cases in any way 
notorious. He always endeavored to prevent litigation, and 
the nature of the questions on which he was an authority was 
such that most of the cases in which he was engaged, even when 
they involved large private interests and important questions 
of law, did not attract public notice. A great part of his time, 
however, he spent in business of public interest, acting as counsel 
to churches and educational institutions. He was an authority 
on the law of charities, which includes, in legal parlance, all re- 
ligious and educational bodies of a public character. Among 
the institutions by which he was consulted were St. Paul's 
Church, Trinity Church, King's Chapel, Harvard College, the 
American Academy of Arts and Sciences, the Boston Athe- 
naeum, Phillips Academy in Andover, and the Worcester Art 

For St. Paul's Church he argued the case of St. PauVs 
Church v. Attorney General (164 Mass. 188), which decided 
important questions in the law of charities, and he also 
acted as counsel at the time of the transformation of the 
church into St. Paul's Cathedral. For Trinity Church he 
argued the case of Sears v. Attorney General (193 Mass. 551), 
which finally removed the long-standing doubts, arising from 
some incidents in the ecclesiastical history of this common- 
wealth, whether a gift devoted to religious uses, in connection 
with a particular church, is a public charity. In 1907 he was con- 
sulted with regard to the conveyance of King's Chapel to trus- 
tees. As was natural, he frequently advised Harvard College, 
and he argued for it the case of Dexter v. Harvard College (